It is 13 days later, and the “failing to take advantage” is complete. Dallas has officially failed.
The Cowboys are entering their final game of the season with nothing except draft position on the line, a place you don’t want to be, and they’re taking on a Philadelphia Eagles team that looked lost offensively on Monday Night Football.
Think about the state of the NFC playoff picture as a whole, though. It’s led by two quarterbacks who not long ago weren’t deemed good enough by Jeff Fisher of all people.
Cowboys are going to miss out on a playoff field where the NFC's top two seeded quarterbacks are Nick Foles and Case Keenum.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 26, 2017
No Aaron Rodgers, a field less scary than ever, and they'll be at home. Pretty frustrating.
This season, with the help of hindsight, is absolutely one for the taking. The scariest team on the NFC side of things is Fisher’s former one, the Rams, who the Cowboys should have beat way back when.
As we discussed two weeks ago, what challenges did the Cowboys face to the degree that Minnesota and Philadelphia for example did? They played without Sean Lee and Tyron Smith for a while, and of course Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension was a big deal.
But look at the Vikings and Eagles; they find ways to win in spite of being without their stars. I’ve lost track as to how many contributors Mike Zimmer has lost, and he’s winning with Case Keenum!
You know how when you’re watching a movie and the guy and girl like each other, but the guy does something over-the-top stupid to ruin things? The Cowboys are that guy.
If not for self-inflicted wounds, the Cowboys could be rolling into the first Aaron Rodgers-less playoff field since 2008 (coincidentally another year of predictable disappointment by Dallas). This is a gift they completely squandered, the chance to play free of their kryptonite.
Imagine entering the NBA Playoffs without LeBron James, playing in the Masters without Dustin Johnson (which really happened), or how about having an NFL playoff field where Aaron Rodgers was unable to be there... the wasted opportunity is staggering.
We’re at a point where many are saying that the Cowboys ultimately don’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway, and I understand that frustration. But even though they don’t deserve to be in, they had every opportunity to make it, and they likely could have made something of that chance.
Even in an undeserving year the Cowboys still sort of deserved to be there and blew it. To call it disappointing would be incredibly underwhelming, so I’ll just call it the 2017 Cowboys.