When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, it is hard to think of any other sports team that faces more public scrutiny and backlash over their shortcomings when it matters most. For instance, the Cowboys just completed a 12-win season this year, and many fans and analysts across the country are not satisfied with the season. Even despite not having starting QB Dak Prescott for five games, fans of the team are not satisfied over a season that many other fan bases would be. Every year it is considered Super Bowl or bust for the organization.
The truth is, the Dallas Cowboys need to have a deep playoff run this time. The team is incredibly talented, the coaching staff is proven, and the rest of the field in the NFC seems very beatable. Cowboys kryptonite, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, was unable to make the playoffs this year after losing in Week 18 to the Detroit Lions. The number one seed in the NFC is a Philadelphia Eagles team that Dallas was able to beat this year, granted, without their starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts. QB Tom Brady, considered by many as the greatest player to ever play football, is coming into the playoffs with a losing record in the worst division in football.
The Cowboys have not made the NFC Championship game since January 14, 1996, when they beat the Green Bay Packers 38 to 27. A drought that Cowboys fans have been impatiently waiting to be fixed. While the team has as good of a chance as any year to do it this year, if they want to achieve this, they may have to redeem their past failures from previous seasons.
Wild card Round: QB Tom Brady
Tom Brady has broken the hearts of many teams across the NFL in his long-tenured career. However, his 7-0 career record against the Dallas Cowboys is his best against any organization in the league. He has simply dominated the Cowboys organization as both the quarterback of the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If the Cowboys hope to make a deep playoff run, they will have to finally overcome this adversity and beat Brady, as they face off in the wild card round this year. It is hard to imagine Dallas getting their single career victory over Brady in the playoffs, a stage where he shines brighter than any other player in league history. With that being said, if the team can beat Brady, it should give them as much momentum as possible going into the divisional round, where they could likely be facing a familiar foe in the division.
If both the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings win their games in the first round of the playoffs, the Cowboys would have to travel to Philadelphia in the divisional round to face the Eagles.
Facing the Eagles would certainly be the most anxiety-driven matchup possible for both Dallas and Philadelphia natives. Both teams would just as equally hope to beat the other, as they would dread the possibility of losing to the other.
This would be an enticing matchup for fans as both games between the Cowboys and Eagles this season had an asterisk next to them. In their first matchup, the Eagles beat the Cowboys in Philadelphia with QB Dak Prescott inactive for the Cowboys. In their second matchup, the Cowboys beat the Eagles in Dallas with QB Jalen Hurts inactive for the Eagles. This would be the first matchup where we see both offenses competing at their peak potential, without any excuses for either side.
While it would be devastating to lose to Philadelphia in the divisional round, it would be equally exciting for the team to break their conference championship appearance drought by also sending their bitter rivals out of the playoffs, ending their incredible season.
San Francisco 49ers
If the Cowboys are able to beat the Eagles, the favorite to play them in the conference championship would be the San Francisco 49ers. The team has had a phenomenal season, and have so much talent all across the team. Their roster includes playmakers such as RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Deebo Samuel, TE George Kittle, and DE Nick Bosa.
The Cowboys would have to play a really good game of football to beat them, playing much better than they did when they lost to them in the wild card round of last year’s playoffs. It would be a chance for the Dallas organization to redeem themselves from last season, beating the team that ended their season early the previous year.
The Cowboys and 49ers both have such a rich history of success, going all the way back to their postseason rivalry in the 1970’s. This would be just another chapter in that history rivalry between two incredible organizations.
The Cowboys certainly have the team to make a deep playoff run this year. If there was ever a season, it would be this one. However, if they want to accomplish this they must overcome some previous challenges which they were unable to accomplish in the past. While it may seem improbable, it would make the playoff run that much sweeter for Cowboys faithful.