The Cowboys are on the wrong side of history when it comes to playoff success. However, all of that can change depending on what happens in the playoffs, starting with Monday night.
These are the 2022 Dallas Cowboys, the 12-5 Dallas Cowboys, winners of back-to-back 12-win seasons since – and here we go, history – for the first time since the 1993-95 seasons.
“The time is now,” says veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
The past has nothing to do with the Cowboys meeting the 8-9 NFC South champion Buccaneers at 7:15 p.m. Monday before a packed crowd at Raymond James Stadium.
But seemingly this entire week, so many are placing the franchise’s past failures on this team when trying to quantify how this game on MLK Day, Jan. 16, 2023, will unfold.
Why, these guys, and with an extra day of the outside chatter to compound the matter, have heard an endless chorus of how Bucs quarterback Tom Brady owns a 7-0 record all-time against the Cowboys. But these guys had nothing to do with the losses in 2003, 2007, but one guy in 2011 and but three in 2015.
Then there’s the playoff drought. Yes, the Cowboys have not won a Super Bowl in 26 years, having to go back to that 1995 season when they won their third in four years, minimizing the fact they have pounded out 14 winning seasons and five others at .500 from 1996 through this 2022 season.
The Cowboys, since that 1995 playoff season, are 4-11 in their past 11 playoff appearances, and never once advancing past the divisional round games, those amounting to four games, with no conference championship game in sight.
While Zack Martin logs another All-Pro nomination, another Dallas Cowboys makes the list on the second team for the first time in his career.
The most prestigious of the All-Pro teams did not leave off the Cowboys’ best defensive player.
Micah Parsons was one of two Cowboys to make first-team All-Pro, voted on by The Associated Press, and announced Friday.
It’s the second All-Pro selection for Parsons in just his second season.
Parsons becomes just the second Cowboys player in franchise history, and first since Bob Hayes (1965-66) to make the AP first-team All-Pro team in each of his first two seasons.
Joining Parsons is no stranger to the list, Zack Martin, who made All-Pro first-team for the sixth time on the AP team.
CeeDee Lamb, who became the first 100-catch wide receiver for the Cowboys since Michael Irvin, was named to the second-team.
Earlier this week, the inaugural NFLPA All-Pro team was announced and Parsons was left off the team, which was voted on by the players. But where Parsons could’ve been dinged is the process for that list, which had players at each position vote only for the positions they face. Since Parsons splits time between pass-rusher and linebacker, but is listed as a linebacker, he was passed over by Roquan Smith and Fred Warner.
Dak Prescott scoffs at suggestion Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy is coaching for his job in the playoffs: ‘It’s comical’ - Jori Epstein, Yahoo Sports!
A big topic in the media this week is Mike McCarthy’s job security if the Cowboys go one and done in the playoffs. However, the face of the franchise believes that it’s absurd to entertain the conversation.
Mike McCarthy, coaching for his job in Monday night’s wild-card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
“It’s comical, in a sense,” Prescott said Friday afternoon. “Back-to-back 12-win (seasons) in y’all tell me how long, and we’re talking about a guy’s job in jeopardy? That just shows you, when you play for this organization, what comes with it.
“That’s why it’s important to create these walls around us. Create this safe place in our locker room. What matters is the men that go out there and get in between the lines and put the work in throughout the week for us to go out and win.”
The Cowboys will attempt Monday in Tampa to achieve feats that have eluded the franchise. Dallas hasn’t won a road playoff game in 30 years, nor advanced to a conference championship game (much less a Super Bowl) in 27. Against Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, the Cowboys’ history continues to loom large: Brady has faced the Cowboys seven times in his career. He has won all seven.
McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl as Green Bay Packers head coach, was hired by Dallas three years ago to change this.
In back-to-back seasons, the Cowboys have finished out the regular season in blowout fashion. In 2021, Dallas handed it to the Philadelphia Eagles, while this year, the Cowboys got a taste of their own medicine. How does last years team compare to this one?
The Dallas Cowboys’ regular season ended with an embarrassing 26-6 loss to the Washington Commanders and now they head to Florida to face NFC South division winners Tampa Bay. Dallas’ 12-5 record was good enough to lock in the fifth seed in the playoffs and they will carry some momentum with them, winning six of their final eight games.
In 2021, the 12-5 Cowboys ended their regular season with an impressive 51-27 win against the Philadelphia Eagles as they were crowned the NFC East division champions. They finished the season winning five of their final eight games before hosting the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round.
It’s not easy to win 12 games in consecutive seasons, and there are parallels between the two teams worth comparing.
It is no surprise that the 2022 offense hasn’t performed at the same level. Losing starting quarterback Dak Prescott for five games, trading Amari Cooper and offensive line injuries all contributed to the offense not matching the 2021 team. While that is all worth mentioning, the 2022 team is no slouch, finishing amongst the league’s upper echelon in multiple categories.
The 2021 team scored 3.7 more points per game. It’s worth noting that the 2022 team has scored over 32 PPG since Dak Prescott’s return in Week 7.
The 2022 Cowboys offense was significantly better in the red zone, with an 8.3% improvement from the previous season.
The 2022 rushing attack was better with 179 more yards and nine more touchdowns.
The 2021 passing attack was significantly better, throwing for 1,227 more yards and 12 more touchdowns.
The 2022 offensive line allowed six fewer sacks and pressures.
The Cowboys fumbled four fewer times but threw seven more interceptions.
2021: Seven advantages
2022: Seven advantages
Which offense was better? 2021.
The 2021 offense scored 63 more points with three fewer turnovers.
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