We are onto the second week of December and the Dallas Cowboys have nine wins to their name. Life is pretty sweet right now.
Obviously the fact that Dallas has nine wins at the moment means that they are one away from hitting double digits on the season. This has never been a 100% truth and it has certainly changed since the NFL added a 17th game to the regular season, but generally speaking if you win double-digit games in this league you stand a very good chance at going to the playoffs.
Nobody is trying to count any chickens before they hatch here, but odds are fairly high that the Cowboys will, at the very least, win one of their final five games and likely even more than that. The fact right now is that they need one more win to pick up a 10th on the season.
While nobody is going to give the Cowboys a trophy or hang a banner for winning 10 games in a single season, doing so is something significant for this franchise. How is that? Well the Cowboys went 12-5 a season ago which means that 10 wins this season would be two straight for the team landing in double digits. This may be shocking to learn but it has been a minute since this happened to the organization.
To be clear, it has been much longer than a minute. The Dallas Cowboys have not won double-digit games in back-to-back seasons since 1995 and 1996 meaning it has been over 25 years and is almost synced up perfectly with the Super Bowl drought. Ever since then, seasons of success have generally been followed by seasons of disappointment.
For full context here, the Cowboys did go to the playoffs in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007, but the former year saw them do it as a 9-7 Wild Card team. This same thing happened a few years earlier in 1998 and 1999 but it was the latter year where they dipped below 10 wins as a Wild Card squad. Here are all of their double-digit win seasons since 1996 and what happened the following year:
- 1998 (10-6): Went 8-8 in 1999 and lost in the Wild Card Round as a Wild Card team
- 2003 (10-6): Went 6-10 in 2004 and missed the playoffs
- 2007 (13-3): Went 9-7 in 2008 and missed the playoffs
- 2009 (11-5): Went 6-10 in 2010 and missed the playoffs
- 2014 (12-4): Went 4-12 in 2015 and missed the playoffs
- 2016 (13-3): Went 9-7 in 2017 and missed the playoffs
- 2018 (10-6): Went 8-8 in 2019 and missed the playoffs
Mike McCarthy deserves a lot of credit considering he is about to snap this streak in his first opportunity to put together consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins. Winning the Super Bowl remains the ultimate goal for every franchise in the NFL, but putting yourself in position to do it year after year is a very difficult thing. Despite a lot of doubt and some perceived roster hurdles, this group has found a way and they deserve an enormous amount of credit for that.