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Cowboys News: Do The Dallas Cowboys Really "Need" To Lose Another Game?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott already the best offensive rookies in NFL history; Benson Mayowa roasts a Seahawks fan; would a loss be a good thing for Cowboys?

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Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys notch another win but losing may be what they really need - Bill Reiter, CBSSports.com
Despite Michael Irvin first proposing the idea that a loss would be beneficial for the team, it still sounds suspiciously like somebody is trying hard to outsmart himself.

Michael Irvin may well be right.

His warning last week on a Dallas radio show before the Cowboys' Thanksgiving win over the Redskins may turn out to be prescient, and the Thursday night victory in Minnesota might have been a golden opportunity that got away.

"Instead of a win, I'm really looking for a loss," Irvin told CBS Sports Radio affiliate 105.3 The Fan. "I need a loss in here on the way to the playoffs. To re-identify, refocus. I'm not saying they are not focused in everything -- but I wouldn't have an issue with a loss and a re-shake."

There's something to this. Even the best of teams sometimes need the bitter taste of a loss, and the week that follows, to refine and focus and lock back in. That's doubly true when the two most important players on the team, rookies Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, have never experienced playoff football. Winning reveals true winners, but losing shapes them.

Why I think Cowboys' win streak ends vs. Giants ... and it could be best thing for Dallas - Kevin Sherrington, SportsDay
Sherrington looks to Tony Dungy for some perspective on what a loss could mean for the Cowboys.

The former Hall of Fame coach doesn't believe in the pressure of a winning streak, because you start over in the playoffs anyway.

"Losing doesn't hurt as long as you learn something from the game," Dungy said. "The worst thing that can happen is winning in December but not playing well.

"You start believing your team is better than you are."

Playing the Giants on the road in December is never fun. Eli Manning and his elite corps of receivers may be too much to handle. Even so, losing to the Giants would be the end of the streak, not the world. The Cowboys would remain atop the division.

Even better: They'd have three more regular-season games to shrug off the weight of history and concentrate on the here and now. And we wouldn't complain about losing at all. Well, maybe a little. Nature of the job.

The Cowboys' ugly Thursday win was actually a 'huge statement' for Dallas - Andrew Lynch, FOX Sports
NFL insider Michael Lombardi explains.

I thought it was a great win for the Cowboys. These are the games that you need. When you're preparing for a marathon, you need days where you don't run effectively, but you run hard. That's what they did. They didn't play their best game. They played in a very hostile environment. The situation was against them. Every time they make a play, there was a penalty to call it back. They couldn't get into a rhythm.

But they fought their way to find a way to win, and I think these are the games that really make you battle-tested for the playoffs. That was a playoff-type game. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't well-played in terms of the way we think we want a playoff game, because we want the playoff games to be 37-34, like the Redskins-Dallas game on Thanksgiving Day.

This, to me, was a playoff atmosphere. This was a desperate team, playing against a very good team who knew they had their best shot. And I thought the Cowboys met the challenge, rose to the challenge, and found a way to win the game. I was impressed.

Look, any time you can walk off the field and say the Cowboys defense won the game, that's a huge statement to make.

Stephen Jones on why Thursday was a 'great win' for the Cowboys - Staff, SportsDay
Jones the younger joined the Ben and Skin on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan. and explained his take on the game against the Vikings.

Thursday's game reveal some issues? Or was it a great win for overcoming everything?

Jones: I definitely look at it as the latter. You know, you play that third game on the 12th day and to be able to battle through adversity there in a hostile environment...it was loud, the home team was certainly behind them, they were certainly playing for their head coach who I know they probably had to strap to a bed to keep him from being on that sideline because he's such a competitor. You could tell that was a well-coached football team. I do look at it as a positive that we were able to overcome some tough things. We were hurting ourselves with penalties and turnovers and things we typically don't do.

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Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott already the best offensive rookies in NFL history - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
The Dak Prescott-Ezekiel Elliott debate doesn't end at offensive rookie of the year, Iyer writes and explains that this is some all-time stuff we're watching.

Either Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott will be robbed of NFL offensive rookie of the year honors this season. Whoever "loses" would have won the award in any other season.

Whoever wins offensive rookie of the year is bound to say he couldn't have done it without the other. We're the big winners to see Elliott and Prescott rise to unprecedented, immediate dominance.

On the same team. At the same time.

MVP: Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott breathing down Tom Brady's neck - Larry Hartstein, SportsLine.com
Tom Brady still has the best chance to win MVP, but Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott aren't far behind, at least according to the latest odds.

Prescott and Elliott are both listed at 4/1 in fresh odds posted by Sportsbook.ag, right behind Tom Brady at 3/1. Matt Ryan also is at 4/1, with Derek Carr next at 8/1.

A rookie winning MVP is nearly unprecedented (Jim Brown did it in 1957).

While Prescott and Elliott each has a strong case, they could split votes and hand it to Brady, who won the award in 2007 and 2010.

Is Cowboys remaining schedule set up for Elliott to catch Dickerson? - KD Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Dallas has four games left, and the noble Drummond wonders what it would take for Elliott to get the rookie rushing record.

Moving forward, Elliott now needs to average 131 yards a contest to surpass Dickerson.

The Cowboys averaged 156 yards on the ground as a team for Elliott to average his 107 yards per game. When the next four opponents [have] a better DVOA than the average of the first 12 opponents, and the average of what they give up to a team is only 13 yards a game more than what Dallas averages as a team, it’s hard to navigate a path of reasonable expectations that Elliott can break the record.

On the other hand, reasonable expectations for the 2016 Cowboys offense have been left in the rear view mirror for a long time now.

Twitter mailbag: Skepticism at how far rookie stars can carry Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN
Our own Tom Ryle asks Archer why there are so many negative reactions to the idea that two rookies could lead the Cowboys to postseason glory.

What some call negativity others might call skepticism. We just haven't seen this from two rookies before. That's not to say it can't happen but history tells a different story.

Elliott's job is easier than Prescott's. I think we can all agree on that. I don't see him hitting any kind of rookie wall. I don't see Prescott hitting a wall, but I think you're seeing teams doing more things that cause him trouble now that there is more film on him. That's only natural. The same thing happened to Tony Romo in 2006 and Romo made great improvement in 2007. Prescott has been great. He has exceeded all expectations, but there are signs, despite the great completion percentages and passer ratings, that things are changing a little bit. Coverages are more complex. The same goes with pressure packages. They will only get more difficult the bigger the games get down the stretch. Jason Garrett preaches the process, the process, the process. There are times where I think they are just looking at the results.

But back to the question, I don't think people are being negative about the Cowboys. They have the best record in football. They can have home-field advantage. I think most are enjoying the ride, but I don't think having skepticism is a bad thing.

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Are we getting close to Tony Romo time for the Cowboys? - Staff, SportsDay
The last time Dallas was 12-1 was in 2007. They rested regulars late in the season - even giving backup QB Brad Johnson half a game in the regular season finale - finished 13-3 and lost to the Giants in their first playoff game. The DMN wonders whether it's time for Tony Romo to start seeing some game action, and looks to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, who argues it's something the Cowboys should consider:

"Giving Romo some playing time would offer the Cowboys the opportunity to showcase him for a trade: If he plays well and stays healthy for the last few games of the season, he'd be attractive to teams looking for a veteran quarterback in the offseason."

It boils down to the risk-reward of putting the hottest quarterback in the NFL on the bench.

"Play him, and you risk injury. Pull him, and you risk that the rookie with the hot hand is rusty when the playoffs start," Smith says.

Seahawks fan accuses Cowboys player of being a ‘bandwagon’ fan, gets roasted - James Dator, SBNation.com
Cowboys DE Benson Mayowa set a Seahawks fan straight after being called a bandwagon fan.