Hope is a dangerous thing, my friends.
The Dallas Cowboys gave us a little bit more hope on Sunday afternoon when they throttled the Los Angeles Rams. Winning 44-21 over anyone is enough to induce some confidence, doing it over the team that won the NFC last season (beating the Cowboys in the Divisional Round in the process, by the way) will generally have a little bit more meaning to it.
This season has been so up and down for the Cowboys, though. Sure they played well on Sunday but they played poorly for three weeks leading up to that. Who, exactly, is this team and what can we grow to expect from them on Sunday in Philadelphia for example?
That answer is a difficult one to find and that’s something that franchise legend and FOX analyst Troy Aikman said Monday on The Dan Patrick Show. Troy talked about how the Cowboys ultimately do have a lot of talent and even went as far as saying that if they continue to play like this, they could do some damage.
“I said it yesterday during our broadcast, and people might laugh at this if they’re critics of the Cowboys, and I certainly could understand it. But they’re capable of playing like they did yesterday, and that is a good Rams team. And I don’t think there is a team in the NFC that wants to face the Cowboys if they’re playing as well as they’re capable of playing.”
“And maybe yea you can say that about anybody, but there’s very few teams in this league Dan that are really good on both sides of the ball or at least capable of being great on both sides of the ball, and this is one of those teams. They just haven’t played very well until yesterday. Yesterday was obviously their best performance against a good football team.”
“And who knows. As crazy as it sounds, what I’ve seen of Philadelphia the last two weeks, even though they’ve won, has not looked very good. It’s looked really bad. They’ve beat bad football teams late in games. It’s going to determine everything next week. Of course then Philadelphia if they win they’ve got to go win in the final game of the season. If Dallas gets in, they’re capable, if they hit it at the right time, of doing some damage. And who knows where it might take them.”
Aikman isn’t someone that’s going to act like a homer, in fact there are plenty of Cowboys fans who feel that he is often too critical of the team. For him to say this means that he is genuinely impressed and legitimately believes it.
What’s wrong about what he said, though? Could this team - the one that took down the Rams - not in fact compete with anyone in the NFC? The teams dominating the AFC like the Baltimore Ravens might be a bit more of a challenge, but the Cowboys team we just saw could certainly make things interesting with the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks.
For what it’s worth, we might get to see the Cowboys try that. They can clinch the NFC East with a win in Philadelphia and effectively set up a Wildcard Round match against the team that does not win the NFC West.