Now that we know that the Dallas Cowboys are in the playoffs, Is it realistic to expect good results in those playoffs? I believe that the Cowboys have the team that can go the distance and win it all and below I will lay out the case for that very deep run.
In the first article I outlined the reasons why it was reasonable to expect an 11-5 or even a 12-4 record and I will list them once again and then I will outline the reasons why it is reasonable to believe they can win it all.
- They stay balanced in their attack
They are the best in the NFL at converting third downs (one of the most important stats)**
- They have the new "triplets" that many are calling "The Big Three"
- They have Dan Bailey
- They have Rolando McClain and Orlando Scandrick
- They have Rod Marinelli
- They never panic and can comeback from big miscues
- They believe they can do it
- They have the best offensive line in the NFL that is just dominating their opponent
** They have dropped to 5th in the NFL in converting third downs which is still excellent. While all of the other points have not changed, the playoffs are a different scenario when it comes to what is needed, (or at least it is for most teams.)
Since my first article was published on October 20th DeMarcus Lawrence been added to the defense, and Tyrone Crawford and J.J. Wilcox have upped their game. The defense as a unit has moved up in the rankings to the middle of the pack at 17th in scoring defense, which is good enough if a team dominates on offense as the Cowboys do.
On offense not only is Tony Romo third all time in quarterback rating behind only Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, but this year Romo is leading the NFL in Q.B.R. at 82.3 and in quarterback rating at 114.4, (and that is above Aaron Rodgers at 111.0). He is also making a strong case to be included in the discussion of MVP of the NFL.
However, we should not be blind to those who say that the favorites should be the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks as far as who should be the favorites to go to the Super Bowl.
The question to be asked once that is established, (assuming you are on board with those two being the favorites), is which team is best suited to beat those two teams and that team would be the Dallas Cowboys.
The way the Cowboys are built with the ability to dominate with their offensive line in both the running game and the passing game is the very thing that can beat those two teams, and it all starts with establishing the run.
A team that establishes the run and can force the other team to put extra defenders in the box has just what the doctor ordered for a great quarterback like Tony Romo. When a team moves a player down into-the-box it is usually one of the safeties and that means that the team is going to allow single-coverage on one of the receivers if they are facing three wide receivers and when they do that they often go cover-one with a single safety high or they go cover-zero and in either case, advantage Tony Romo.
By establishing the run, it forces teams to allow the Cowboys to be balanced, and when they are balanced, they can dominate the time of possession and in doing so, keep their defense fresh and off the field. Also not enough is said about how demoralizing it is to a defense to have the front seven pushed around.
Physics tells us that it is easier to push something once you already have momentum than it is to back peddle and try to stop someone else that has the momentum first. This is the reason why teams that establish the run can begin to wear down the front four and even the front seven of the other team so that in the fourth quarter when often a team that has a good defense can stop an offense and hang on to a lead can mount a comeback, but not with this offensive line wearing that defense down. That is why we see this Cowboys team able to finally get stops in the 4th quarter.
So, if ever there was a team that was built to handle the Seahawks or the Packers, this Cowboys team is it.
I am more confident about this teams chances to win the Super Bowl than I have been since the 2007 season when they had another pretty decent offensive line, but the big difference is that in 2007 Romo had a dinged up Terrell Owens and a mediocre receiver named Patrick Crayton who helped cost that team a real shot at winning it all.
For those who have forgot about that game, (maybe on purpose), here is what was said right after that game by a Giants sports writer named Hank Gola:
"If the Giants could have scripted this one, Patrick Crayton would have had a lot to do with the Cowboys screwing up the No. 1 seed.
As it turned out, he did.
Crayton, who started the war of words during the week, calling out RB Brandon Jacobs in particular, had two huge drops and muffed a punt in the Cowboys' four-point loss, a fact, said Jacobs, made the Giants' victory "that much sweeter."
Well this time we have Dez Bryant, who has the most TDs by a wide receiver over the last three years, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray, the leading rusher in the NFL this year, to go along with an offensive line that is even better than the one they had in 2007.
So, what do you guys and gals think about the chances of this Cowboys team to win it all. I am very confident that we have a great shot.