There’s no need to panic.
The Dallas Cowboys are 2-2, good for second place in the NFC East through four weeks, and there is still 75% of the season left (really though, I’m sad 25% just flew by like that).
A loss last week to the Los Angeles Rams has a lot of people ready for the sky to fall, but the great yin of Cowboys fans everywhere has been met with a yang by others. There are plenty of reasons for optimism, and certainly ones for concern.
The Cowboys are tied with the Washington Redskins with .500 records, looking up at the 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles (the Giants are 0-4 and that is never not funny). Part of the reason all of this feels so precarious is that the Cowboys host the Green Bay Packers, who bounced them from the playoffs last year, and many feel that’s an inevitable loss.
However the Packers game winds up for the Cowboys, we’re going to have a lot of time to dwell on it. This is the final game before this season’s bye for the Cowboys, with their next game not coming until October 22nd in San Francisco.
25% done.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 3, 2017
Dallas’ next 4: GB, @ SF, @ WAS, KC
Philly: AZ, @ CAR, WAS, SF
Washington: SF, @ PHI, DAL, @ SEA
NYG: LAC, @ DEN, SEA, LAR pic.twitter.com/iXEb3PEhEU
Looking at the next four games for each NFC East team, it isn’t beyond the realm of reason to suggest that the Cowboys have the hardest stretch. Bye weeks will play a role throughout this as Washington is on theirs currently, Dallas takes theirs next week, and New York has theirs between Seattle and the Rams (Philly’s is two weeks after this particular stretch).
All three teams sans the Giants will take on the 49ers in this stretch, that should be a win for all of them. The Eagles and Redskins play each other for the second time in Week 7 (which is weird in and of itself), meaning one will obviously win and one will lose. The other games for Philadelphia and Washington are at Carolina and Seattle, respectively.
It’s important to consider what’s happening throughout the rest of the division because the Cowboys want to win it. There is the age old “as long as we win everything will work out, let’s just focus on us” philosophy, but the NFC East is starting to look more competitive than last season.
It is possible that after this particular stretch, the second quarter so to speak, that the Cowboys could be 4-4 or even 3-5. The San Francisco game should be a win, but they have a tall order on their hands the week after considering they have to fly from San Francisco to Dallas to Washington within a week, going clear across the country.
The Chiefs are arguably the best team in football (that game will be Tony Romo’s first time doing Dallas which will make it even more epic), which is an intimidating thing for any team to try and conquer. Of course, a lot can change throughout the NFL in this amount of time, but the seriousness of this next quarter needs to be realized.
Either the Redskins or Eagles are at least winning two games given they should beat San Francisco and they play a game against each other. Washington also plays Dallas in this stretch as mentioned, so if Washington is victorious then things could really spiral out of control for the Cowboys.
I’ll reiterate that there is currently no need to panic, and this isn’t meant to come across as a “the season is/will be over” type of cry. The point is this week’s game against the Packers has the potential to go a long way both in the standings and in terms of general morale.