Hot take here, but life above .500 is a lot better than life below it. Thanks to a big win in Washington on Sunday, the Cowboys are on the right side of things.
Division games are always big. If you can win them, you’re doing something right, especially the ones on the road. So the Cowboys are doing good things, hooray for that.
What will the world be saying after such a win? We’ve got the answers. As a reminder, we’re talking about 10 Predictable Headlines. These are things that it’s likely other people will say, based off of what narratives can be derived from the contest. Shall we?
“Dez Bryant needs to enjoy his team winning”
If you watch BTB’s OchoLive, you know I’m a big fan of Thom Brennaman; however, if we’re being honest, Brennaman did a pretty irresponsible thing during Sunday’s call.
Dez Bryant was shown by FOX holding up two fingers. At the time he only had two targets/receptions, so Thom Brennaman inferred that Dez was chirping up that his usage was lower than it should be.
To assume something like this is categorically irresponsible. It feeds the narrative that Dez is a poor teammate and is openly defying the offensive play-calling. Dez Bryant is the biggest team player there is, if the Cowboys win, he wins.
“Ryan Switzer has no idea what he’s doing”
Some would say that Ryan Switzer lost the Los Angeles Rams game for the Cowboys. That’s not necessarily 100% true, but you get the point.
Not that he’d been lighting things up before then, but has Ryan Switzer been the same ever since? We’ve now seen back to back weeks where Switzer has shown some hesitancy when fielding punts, and Sunday included kicks.
After the Redskins narrowed things to one-possession late in the game (4:35 left), they kicked off to the Cowboys. Switzer fielded the ball at the Cowboys 7-yard line, stood there for a second, ran up seven yards, and took a knee.
There’s a lot going on in this game, obviously. Close score, conditions are poor, but it is pretty impossible to find one line of logic as to what Switzer was thinking here. We’d seen Switzer show a certain swagger when fielding kicks, and that’s been totally absent as of late.
“Tyron Smith isn’t himself”
The best left tackle on the face of the earth did not have his best game in Washington.
Tyron Smith has struggled (even that feels like a stretch) with back issues for some time now. He’s also struggled with penalties (albeit some questionable) and did so on Sunday.
There is absolutely no need to worry about Tyron Smith, but someone will find a way to do so.
“Jason Garrett is turning into a bit of a gambler”
Relax, I said a bit.
We’ve seen the Cowboys go for it on fourth down six times this season, that includes a one-yard attempt with 4:04 left in the first quarter on Sunday.
Jason Garrett has the best offensive line in the NFL and arguably the best running back. He finally realized that this is a great advantage for short-yardage situations.
“The Cowboys need to convert more field goal tries into touchdowns”
This is obvious, obviously. The Cowboys attempted five field goals in Washington, converting four, which is about five more than people would like.
Shocker here, but the goal is always touchdowns instead of field goals. The reality is that Washington managed to stifle what the Cowboys wanted to do offensively at times, and the field conditions along with the weather situation aided that effort.
The Cowboys know touchdowns are better. Trust me.
“Orlando Scandrick is this team’s best cornerback”
This isn’t particularly shocking, but many people had begun the process of writing Scandrick off after seeing this team’s draft class.
Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, paired with sophomore Anthony Brown, were certainly a great cause for excitement, but it didn’t change the truth, that Scandrick is this team’s best option at the position.
Sunday in Washington was arguably the best game of Scandrick’s career. Respect.
“Ezekiel Elliott is back to 2016 form”
150 yards on the ground is the best performance we’ve seen from Zeke since the 159 he had against Tampa Bay last season.
Elliott jumped into a kettle that day, and things were as great as they’d been for the Cowboys all season (that particular season). The same can be said of this year’s team, as this is the most momentum they’ve had. They can thank Zeke for that.
“DeMarcus Lawrence is the pass rusher we’ve been waiting for”
The point of predictable headlines is to predict (duh) what people will say, and sometimes those are things we don’t necessarily agree with. It’s hard to disagree with this.
So many draft picks, so many pseudo-attempts, and the Cowboys have failed to ever find a “war daddy.” DeMarcus Lawrence is Batman, people. The hero we deserve.
It was two years ago in Washington when DeMarcus showed some flashes on Monday Night Football during his second season and we said that was it. Then he dipped. Then suspension. Whatever, he’s here and he’s for real.
“Tyrone Crawford is coming along on the defensive line”
Early on it was a game of musical chairs for the Dallas Cowboys and Tyrone Crawford. Nobody knew where to play him, for a while nobody even knew what jersey number he was going to wear.
Does it help Crawford that he’s got Lawrence on the other side wreaking havoc? Absolutely. It allows him to take advantage of situations and circumstances.
He’s finally doing that. Yes, finally. Our wishes have come true.
“Sunday was the biggest win of the year for the Cowboys”
There’s no denying that a win in Washington was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Cowboys.
It was very different from the win in San Francisco where the Cowboys beat a winless team. Washington was beat up injury-wise, but a road division win is impressive and cannot be ignored.
The Cowboys are back in business, and they’ve built up a nice wave of momentum moving forward. Let’s ride the wave. Ride the wave all day.