The Cowboys are famously 8-8 the last few years. Has it been a "good" 8-8 or a "weak" 8-8? Talk about the perfect chance to analyze an "Is the cup half full or empty?" scenario!
So in writing a comment in another fan post I revisited a topic I wrote about a couple of years ago-Dallas's inability to do much against the better teams in the league. As I looked up the numbers, I have to say I was a bit surprised-they were worse than I thought!
I decided to remove division games for two reasons. First, we all know that due to the familiarity between the teams they are just different. Dallas can go 1-15 but you just know that one win had to come against a 10-6 Redskins team, right? Secondly, by definition every team has 2 games against a division winner, and on top of the other issue, this increases the odds for an upset.
So I looked back to 2010 at all the games outside the division, against winning teams. Has this team and its coaches shown that they truly are competitive with the teams making the playoffs the last 4 years? Fans here love (I mean LOVE!) to point out how many close games we've lost against decent teams. We almost beat GB last year!
Well…………..the Dallas Cowboys' record against winning teams outside the division, 2010-2014?
3-14. Yes, 3-14.
And those 3 wins?? 2010, OT against the Colts. OT.
2011, OT against the 49ers. OT.
2012, one point against the Bengals. ONE point.
Are some of the losses close? Sure. But they also include losses of 45-7, 27-7, 34-18, and 49-17.
Then there's the 45-28 blowout by the 8-8 Bears last year too.
Now the last time I did this, there were predictable arguments about this data.
(here it is) theoldpost
To summarize, "They're an 8-8 team, what did you expect? They beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones?"
Well, yeah. But again, could someone point to where we've seen some light shining through the last few years? That week when we up against one of the best, and 'bested' them?? I can't.
I'm often called a "pessimist" when the fact is I've actually been an optimist by the numbers recently-I've predicted a better record for the Cowboys than they've ended up with!
It was in my sig all of last year: "9-7 but missing the playoffs."
Doesn't that by definition make me an 'optimist' last year?
I've always felt since this site began that the Cowboys were in the hunt, and of course with Parity and a decent QB, they were. In the NFL, if you have a good QB, you're in the hunt.
But I'm not feeling it this year, for a variety of reasons. And part of it is the way they've come to these 8-8 records.
You tell me, when you see this data, does it inspire hope? Do you see an upward trend, a team getting younger and better? Three barely there wins up against 14 losses, some of them blowouts? None last year?
Yes, an 8-8 team should lose to the "better teams." But I did not expect the data to look this bad. 3-14?
So beyond the usual: "But, Injuries!" "But there's a Process!' type of answers, does this record surprise you? Change your feelings about the coming season?
Absolutely it proves nothing. That's the past, the future is unknown. But we have to use our knowledge of the past to predict the future as best as possible.