By the off chance that you've been cryogenically frozen for the past seven weeks, here's a quick update on the Dallas Cowboys 2012 season. They dismantled the New York Giants in week 1, got manhandled by Seattle in week 2, won a not-as-close-as-it-looks game against Tampa Bay in week 3, got manhandled again by Chicago in week 4, and then were able to wrestle defeat from the hands of victory against the Baltimore Ravens in week 6.
Going into week 7, the Dallas Cowboys faced a must-win early season game against the dismal Carolina Panthers. As long as Dallas could march into Charlotte and stomp on the feeble kitties of Carolina then they'd be just fine, back to .500 and ready to start the season anew. Strangely enough, that's not exactly what happened.
Look familiar? (Ron Jenkins/ MCT)
Well yes, they did manage to win the game and get their record back to 3-3. And yes, they did so with an efficient and turnover-free game from their quarterback. And sure, they finally forced a few turnovers and played stout defense for the majority of the afternoon. But look at the big picture! This game wasn't easy, and so the Dallas Cowboys have been tossed to the scrap heap by the local media.
Fire Jason Garrett! Cut Felix Jones! Trade Dez Bryant! If you didn't know better, you'd think that a raucous mob with torches and pitchforks would be descending upon Valley Ranch like a hoard of zombies from the show "Walking Dead". But today, we urge you to relax and remember the one simple truth that the NFL of 2012 has to offer: It's never easy.
There are a grand total of 7 teams in the NFL that have less losses than the Dallas Cowboys. 14 teams have more losses than them. In the 8 divisions, the Cowboys record would have them in 1st place in one of them (AFC West) and 2nd place in 5 of them, including the NFC East. Parity rules the NFL today more than it ever has, and the records prove it. Sure, Carolina is a bad team. But we're willing to bet that the Falcons (30-28 W) and the Seahawks (16-12 W) were both happy to beat the Panthers by less points than we did.
And let's take a look at the 3 Dallas losses this year. First off, a loss to Seattle in Seattle. The same place, mind you, that teams like the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots have lost games this year. Okay, so maybe a little leeway on that one. And then there was Chicago. The Bears have lost a grand total of one game this year. Oh, and the current ESPN headline at the time of this article asks the question: Are the Bears the best team in the NFL? Okay, so maybe another pass on that one. And finally, Baltimore. Sometimes, the way you lose games is so much worse than actually losing them. When the schedule came out last winter, did anyone out there look at that game and say "Yes! There's a Cowboys win!"? No. It would've been fantastic to pull that one out, but the team was really no worse off for dropping that one than they were before dropping it.
So here we are in week 8, the defending champion New York Giants coming to town. Go ahead and believe what ESPN and "Ben and Skin" say when they tell you we're going to get shelled if you choose. But you won't find that talk here. This incarnation of the Dallas Cowboys was built with one vision in mind: Beat the New York Giants. All of the money spent on the secondary was spent to stop Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. The high draft pick of Tyron Smith was done to stop the likes of JPP, Osi, and Justin Tuck. The Cowboys have yet to beat the Giants in their new palace; do you think that's going to be on their minds this week?
And one last thing. The Giants are not invincible. They've looked great in two games this season, against the 49ers and against those sad, sad Panthers. The other 5 games? Well they lost to the (apparently atrocious) Cowboys, were forced to make frantic comebacks against the Bucs and Redskins, lost to the Eagles, and fell behind by two touchdowns in the opening quarter against the Browns. Does that sound like an unbeatable squad? No. No it doesn't. Go ahead and write off the Dallas Cowboys if you want. We're not ready yet.
Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.