If the Dallas Cowboys 2021 season was a flight, we’d be just about at the point where the pilot announces to the passengers to fasten their seatbelts for landing. It hasn’t been the smoothest of metaphorical “flights”, but this Cowboys team has flown higher than many expected.
Because they play in such a poor division, Dallas was the favorite to take home the NFC “least” crown, but face it, back in August plenty of people didn’t believe the Cowboys would be a double-digit win team. Contrary to popular belief, Dallas checked that off their goal list last Sunday with a win over New York
No one thought this defense, which was arguably the worst individual unit in football in 2020, could turn things around and become even league-average this season. But to much surprise, this defense has been the most overachieving unit in all of football, taking the ball away a league-high 31 times (tied with Indianapolis) and helping lead Dallas to a three-game winning streak in December.
Sure, things haven’t been all good. The Cowboys offense has not looked anything like the early-season unit that we saw score 30 or more points in four of their first six games. Dak Prescott, and other high-profile offensive stars, have really struggled in December, causing their offense to be stuck in rut.
But if I told you before the season that on December 24th, the Cowboys would be sitting at 10-4, holding the number two seed in the NFC and one win away from clinching the NFC East title, who wouldn’t have taken that?
Because they are the Cowboys things are always going to be nitpicked. If Dallas is not the last team standing in February, no matter what they did in the season, it won’t be good enough. Obviously winning the Super Bowl should be the ultimate goal, it’s why they play the game, but there can be a middle ground of appreciating something special while it’s happening.
Do you know how many fanbases would give anything to have their team in the position the Cowboys are right now? Imagine what Washington, or New York fans would give to have their team sitting in the spot the Cowboys are?
Yes, the offense is struggling, but when is the last time the Cowboys went into the playoffs with a defense this talented? In the postseason, Dallas will likely have to knock off two of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray, and Matthew Stafford if they want to make it to the Super Bowl. For the first time in ages, there is a legitimate reason to believe that their defense is up to the task of knocking off these top-tier signal-callers and leading their team to a victory.
This season in the NFL has been different. Every team in the league has problems, even the best ones. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are ravaged by injuries and got shut out by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers almost lost to a backup quarterback last week. The Cardinals just lost to the Detroit Lions for crying out loud.
Point being, there is no definitive favorite this year, especially on the NFC side of things. This is as wide open a playoffs as we’ve seen in a long time, and the Dallas Cowboys are going to be right in the thick of things.
Could the Cowboys win the Super Bowl playing the way they are right now? Probably not, but there isn’t a team in the NFC that wants to face this Dallas defense in January.
It’s been 25 years since the Cowboys won a Super Bowl. They certainly aren’t perfect, but this year’s team has as good of a shot as any in the past decade has had of breaking the streak and bringing the Lombardi back to Dallas.
So fasten your seat belts and get ready for the landing. It’s going to be a wild final few weeks of the season here in Dallas. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride.