Posted: 11:15 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2013
By Dave Halprin
Like many of you, I was pretty despondent after the Cowboys dropped a game to the Chiefs. There were so many things to pick on, so many moments where we thought the Cowboys had totally taken leave of their senses. But it was actually us taking leave of our senses. Today, one thing brought me back to mine.
The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East and are the fourth-seed in the NFC playoff picture right now. Ha!
NFC East Champ (Wins tie break over Philadelphia based on best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.)
Okay, before we get carried away with playoff delusions, a few things to say.
First, the Cowboys blew a golden opportunity on Sunday. Joey Ickes laid that out here. He's right, Dallas had a chance to get a streak going, and in the NFL streaking is everything. Put together a 3- or 4-game win streak in the NFL and you're looking good for post-season possibilities. Momentum is nice.
Also, it's week 2 of the NFL season, so playoff scenarios don't mean diddly.
But since it's only week 2, losing to a team on the road who is currently 2-0 is not the end of the world. There are eight 2-0 teams left, and the only surprise besides KC is Miami. So it's not like a ton of flukes are undefeated, I think it's safe to say the Chiefs are a hugely-improved team under Andy Reid.
There are plenty of things Dallas needs to fix. Most of those are on the offensive side of the ball. Play-calling is very suspect right now, the run game is fading again, turnovers reared their head on Sunday, the offensive line is still trying to gel, we got issues.
But on the defensive side of the ball, it looks like we're building something. No one is running on the Cowboys regularly (well, except for at the end of the Chiefs game when we desperately needed our run-defense). Jamaal Charles didn't have a Jamaal Charles-like game, Alex Smith was their leading rusher. And the pass defense at least improved. They were aided by the pass rush. Dallas had four sacks and hurried Smith on plenty of occasions. Maybe we have something building on that side of the ball.
And just a quick long-range look, the Giants and the Redskins do not look like very good teams right now, the Eagles are still an unknown. I like the Cowboys chances in this division even with the loss in Sunday.
Dallas has plenty of things to deal with, but one loss on the road to an improving team is not enough for the ledge. So I'm coming back in. Temporarily.