A fair number of people reading this were likely sitting back after a Thanksgiving meal, and were just stunned. The Philadelphia Eagles were walking all over the Dallas Cowboys in the most important divisional game of the season for both teams. Well, the most important divisional game to this point, at least.
The season isn't over for this team. It's not even close to over. Let's also not forget that now this resilient Cowboys team gets to take another shot at the Eagles in just over two weeks. While that's nice to think about, and it's also nice to think about how angry this team will be heading to Philadelphia, that's not the only positive outlook right now as a Cowboys fan.
Yes, the Cowboys suffered a loss that was headline-worthy, and in all honesty, was pretty embarrassing. Does everyone remember what Aaron Rodgers said when the Green Bay Packers started this season 1-2? He put it simply enough when telling all of the Packers fans out there to "relax, we're going to be ok".
While I'm not Rodgers, I'd probably be a pretty good system quarterback. That's besides the point, though, and I'm here to tell Cowboys Nation one simple word:
I may not have as much pull as Rodgers does, but I can give you a bit of an argument for why this Cowboys team is going to be alright. We can start by looking at that Packers team if you want, but instead we'll talk about how resilient the Cowboys have been all season. The mindset of the 2014 Cowboys is different than the 2013, 2012, 2011 and most teams before that over the previous stretch of rough seasons.
Tony Romo told us all that he'd be better next week. It's more than just Romo who needs to improve, but the Cowboys aren't going to take this loss in stride, because it physically and emotionally hurt them. Losing to the Eagles on Thanksgiving, with everyone watching, truly pissed these players off, and even motivated them. The proof is simply in the many postgame pressers that we've all read. Dez Bryant may have put it best:
"I can't wait to go up there and play them again," Bryant said. "Cannot wait."
Now, it's the Cowboys' time for revenge.
Others Had It Just As Bad
One loss isn't season-defining, but another loss to the Eagles likely will be. The Cowboys simply need to look at teams like the Packers, though. The teams who have bounced back after rough games. The Detroit Lions are another team, as they lost to the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills over a four week span. Yes, the Bills are 6-5, but their six wins were against the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets twice and this Lions team.
If you want more proof, look at the same Seattle Seahawks team who the Cowboys beat. After Dallas knocked them off, they lost to the St. Louis Rams and the world was officially falling down on them. After that, they reeled off wins in five of their next six games and are 8-4 currently. The New England Patriots were 2-2 to start the year and everyone wondered what was wrong with them. Now? They're 9-2 and playing incredible football.
The Indianapolis Colts started the year out 0-2, and now have complete control of their division. One final example are the Cincinnati Bengals, who had a midseason stretch where they went 0-2-1, including a 27-0 loss to the previously mentioned Colts. Since that point? The Bengals have gone 4-1 and are at the top of the AFC North.
Previous Struggles Fuel The Worry, But Shouldn't
The Cowboys have one "bad" loss this season, and it was against the Washington Redskins, with Tony Romo trying to lead a comeback when he could hardly throw the ball. The Eagles loss was bad on the scoreboard, but as hard as it may be many of us to admit, they're a good team. So, why is everyone freaking out a bit over the Cowboys losing to the Eagles? Yes, the fact that it was 33-10 was bad, but the reason why everyone is overly worried is because of previous Cowboys teams. This team fell apart at the end of the season in previous years, going 1-3 to finish 2013, 0-2 to finish 2012 and 1-4 in 2011.
It's tough for that to not sit in the back of your mind, especially after a game like the one we saw on Thanksgiving. But, we need to remember, this Cowboys team truly is different. This is a different Tony Romo, a different Jason Garrett, a new play-caller and new leaders stepping up all over the place. On top of that, yes, this is even a different defense, and we'll see that on Thursday night against the Chicago Bears.