The Road Warrior, if you like the Mad Max series. The Road Warriors if you dig some 80s/90s-era rasslin'. Pick either one, because the rest of this month that better be what the Dallas Cowboys are. A Thursday trip to Chicago, a vengeance re-match after that in Philadelphia, followed by a trip to Washington - sandwiched around a home date with Indianapolis. If the Cowboys are going to bulldoze their way into the playoffs, they better be Road Warriors. The good news? That's exactly what they've been all year. They are a perfect 5-0 on the road. 3-4 at home. Maybe the Colts will agree to their game being played in Indy.
Is this record of perfection on the road but mediocrity at home based on something, or is it just one of those random, fluky events that happen sometimes? The Cowboys were asked about it and gave their thoughts.
"I don’t know, I just think we’ve done a really good job of focusing on those details. I wish we would’ve known what it is," said Jason Witten.
"I don’t know, I don’t know. I feel like we maybe focus a little bit better, we come together more as a team," said DeMarco Murray. "I just think you capitalize on their mistakes, and a couple times they’ve had more mistakes than we’ve had. So I just think it’s more of a togetherness."
Then Murray added a little spice.
"I think, for me, I think that turns me on a little bit - to come into someone's house and hear the boos and all that. I think it's a great thing," he said.
We'd like to believe that's what it is, but as many people have already surmised, this prefect road record and spotty home record roughly coincides with the level of competition the Cowboys play.
The Cowboys home slate has featured San Francisco, New Orleans, Houston, New York, Washington, Arizona and Philadelphia. Those teams have a combined 42-42 record, a 50% winning percentage. Dallas has gone 3-4 there.
The Cowboys hosts on the road have been Tennessee, St. Louis, Seattle, Jacksonville and New York. Combined record of those teams is 20-40. A 33% winning percentage. Dallas is 5-0 there, with the Seattle win the only one over a decent team.
The simple answer is the road competition has been mostly below average and the Cowboys have dealt with those teams. The home record is spotty because the Cowboys lost to above average teams - San Francisco, Arizona and Philadelphia (plus the Washington stinker).
The combined record of the Cowboys next three road opponents - Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington - is 17-19, a 47% wining mark. Just like Seattle was the lone exception of the early-season road games, Philadelphia is the only good team of the upcoming group, and the Cowboys really need to win that game. In fact, all three road games are the key. They are all in the division or in the conference. Both big tiebreakers for the playoffs.
The remaining home game is against the 8-4 Colts, a tall order. Fortunately it's against the AFC, so if we're going to lose one, it should be that one.