Earlier this week, I wrote that this week's game with the Washington Redskins could “seal the fate” of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff.
Of course, that was probably a bit dramatic, but I still believe my sentiment reigned true. For three straight weeks the Cowboys looked flat, uninspired, and disinterested at times. I am never the one to go out and say a professional “quit,” but people were questioning if Jason Garrett had lost the trust of the players in his locker room.
Through the first quarter of football last night, things felt eerily similar to the past three weeks. The offense continued to sputter, Dak Prescott struggled mightily, and the defense did just enough to hold on.
But then, one play changed the complexion of the game, and seemed to wake the Cowboys up for the first time sans-Ezekiel Elliott.
With their backs against their own end zone the Cowboys defense finally caught a break. Something went their way, and a tipped ball fell right into the hands of safety Jeff Heath. From that moment on the Cowboys dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, and imposed their will in a way which felt like a throwback to 2016.
Let's be honest, with six losses in the NFC, the hopes for a Cowboys playoff run are slim-to-none. But to see this team come out, fight, and dominate physically felt really good last night. For the first time since losing Elliott to suspension, the Cowboys looked like themselves, and the offense operated how it's “supposed” to.
While I still believe a change in offensive coordinator would likely be for the best, last night was another example of why I continue to think Jason Garrett's job is safe, barring a disastrous 6-10 finish.
These players, or at least most of the players, go full throttle each and every week under Garrett. Jerry Jones is clearly in his corner, and as long as the team still has it in them to do things like they did Thursday night, it's hard to imagine Jones not allowing Garrett another chance. Even if the majority of Cowboys Nation (judging by the internet) seems to disagree with that decision.
Going forward the Cowboys now have a realistic shot to get over the .500 mark. With the lowly New York Giants and 5-6 Oakland Raiders ahead of them, it isn't ridiculous to think they could be 8-6 when Elliott returns.
But unless they get some serious help from the teams in front of them, it's possible a 10-6 finish won't even suffice in this loaded NFC. Regardless, I hope to see the Cowboys finish strong and at least make things interesting for the Falcons and Seahawks these next few weeks.