The 2018 NFL season has come to an end and all thoughts are now focused on what will come in 2019. Of course, the season has been over for some time for the Cowboys considering they lost in the playoffs a few weeks ago; we’ve all started moving on.
2018 was a great season when you look back on it, though. There were some great times, exciting moments, and a mid-season trade that took us all by surprise.
In the spirit of remembering a playoff year that featured success in the postseason for the Cowboys, we decided to rank every game from last season (excluding the playoffs because those obviously hold more significance). The ranking is from least to most awesome, so we’re basically going from worst to best. Let’s begin.
The First Six: Let’s get the losses out of the way
There were only six occasions last season where we all woke up upset the day after a Cowboys game which is really quite remarkable. Amazingly, five of them came in the first half of the season as the team put together quite the winning streak through the second half.
Not all losses are terrible, though. Don’t get me wrong every loss sucks, but some losses are easier to swallow than others. For example the loss against Tennessee was particularly unpleasant to watch after waiting the entire bye week to get there.
The Titans loss comes in as the “worst” game of the season for the Cowboys because we had to wait an extra week to get there. There was such a sense of hope for the team as they’d traded for Amari Cooper, so dropping that first game and falling to 3-5 felt like multiple nails in a coffin.
You might be wondering why the Cowboys loss in Indianapolis comes out as the “best” loss of the season for them... considering they didn’t score a single point. At the time Dallas was one win away from clinching the NFC East with two games left after the Colts. It was obvious that they were spent in Indy and the overall sense of confidence in the team wasn’t largely impacted.
The First Half of Wins: They were all pretty close!
While they won double-digit games last season, the Cowboys had to grind some of them out. There were multiple dramatic fourth quarters as they fought week after week and thankfully were on the right side of things more often than not.
The second half of the season was obviously a lot different than the first, but still ranking 10 overall wins is a good problem to have. Some dubayoos were better than others which is why these five only made the first half.
It was honestly quite a struggle for me to properly rank the Cowboys win over Tampa Bay late in the season. It was that victory that cemented them as NFC East Champions, but it felt sort of like a formality more than anything. As mentioned, like the Colts loss it just didn’t have the same flare as other wins.
Additionally, it’s quite strange that a day where the Cowboys dropped 40 points is not their best win of the season. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Jaguars felt like such a low-quality team when all was said and done, so beating them soundly didn’t feel particularly impactful.
The Final Five: There were some glorious times
In the lead-up to their five-game stretch following the Tennessee game many people doubted who the Cowboys were. It looked like they were headed for a gauntlet that would break them, instead they reeled off five straight wins.
These five games were epic if we’re being honest. They were the epitome of the “fight” that Jason Garrett preaches about as the Cowboys managed to prove the entire world wrong.
The win over Washington on Thanksgiving was great as Amari Cooper really broke out, but it felt like one the Cowboys should have as Colt McCoy was starting for the enemy. The true greatest wins of the season were both contests over the Eagles and the game against New Orleans. Those victories were the most surprising and definitely the most sweet-tasting.
It took a lot to not count the win over New Orleans as the best one of the season for the Cowboys as there were some nostalgic elements to it what with what happened in 2009. However, the win over Philadelphia at home in overtime all but affirmed that Dallas would win the division and considering it was such an Amari Cooper-fest of its own that game is the one that wins out in the end.
How would you rank the 16 games of the season for the Cowboys?