How does one stay hopeful during a time like this? The 2020 season showed promise for the Dallas Cowboys. After five straight seasons in which the Cowboys finished .500 or better, 2020 was a year where Dallas could do serious damage in the NFC East, as well as the NFL.
Every team has high hopes for the upcoming season. Some dreams may be outlandish, but the ultimate goal is to win football games. For America's Team, their goal was to not only outscore their opponents each game, but it was to also reach the playoffs. The Super Bowl may be a pipe dream for all but one franchise every season, but the Dallas Cowboys were in the conversation to compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Battling untimely injuries, collapses on the gridiron, and inconsistencies in play, the Cowboys now find themselves with a 2-7 record. 3rd in the NFC East, the Cowboys are far away from .500 on the year, but there is still hope that the Cowboys can reach the postseason.
Yes, in every division but the NFC East, the Cowboys would find themselves many victories away from a potential playoff spot. But thanks to how poorly the rest of the division has played, Dallas is still in a spot to win the division.
According to Betway Sports (as of November 9th, 4:00 P.M.), the Dallas Cowboys are listed at +900 to win the NFC East. Division rival Philadelphia Eagles own the best odds, currently sitting at -334.
Ahead of the Cowboys are the Washington Football Team, listed at +650. The only other team remaining is the New York Giants, who own the same odds as the Cowboys. Now, with any other division, one would believe that the Cowboys' chances of reaching the postseason are slim. However, there is enough time left in the season schedule for Dallas to usurp Philadelphia.
The Eagles (3-4-1) own a one-game advantage over the Cowboys with a game in hand. Currently, on their bye week, the Eagles will return for Week 10 to take on the New York Giants. That is projected to be an Eagles victory, but anything can happen in the game of football.
If we assume that the Eagles defeat the Giants and Washington Football Team, Philadelphia will finish the regular season with 5 victories. On the schedule for the remainder of the year is Cleveland, Seattle, Green Bay, New Orleans, Arizona, and Dallas. Of course, they also square off against New York and Washington.
The odds will not be in Philadelphia's favor to defeat the Seahawks, Packers, Saints, or Cardinals. They may defeat the Browns and it's a toss-up against the Cowboys.
Looking at Dallas' schedule, the Cowboys are actually in a decent spot. In order, the Cowboys will take on the Vikings, Washington, Ravens, Bengals, 49ers, Eagles, and Giants. From that list, Washington, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York are winnable games. Minnesota, Baltimore, and San Francisco are games where Dallas is projected to lose. If the Cowboys win the aforementioned games, they will finish with a record of 6-10.
The most important game of the season could be Week 16 against the Eagles. Philly has a tough schedule and road ahead of them, so nothing is guaranteed.
For Dallas to compete for the division crown, they need to win games against weak opponents. The Cowboys are bruised and battered as well, but there are a handful of winnable games on the remaining schedule. Minnesota and San Francisco aren't a guaranteed loss either, which means the potential window for Dallas to make the playoffs could open as well.
Again, it's tough to stay optimistic but the reality is there is still a chance for Dallas to reach the playoffs. The Cowboys almost handed Pittsburgh their first loss of the season and showed improvements after two disappointing weeks. Dallas is a team well documented and despite their current obstacles, the team is on the brink of muting the haters.
The whole point of a football season is to be on the higher end of the scoreboard. Dallas is currently down on the season but there is enough time on the clock for the blue and white to make an impact. By seasons end, they could be in the postseason, stunning the rest of the NFL.
Opportunity arises for the Cowboys. It won't be easy, but it would be historic if Dallas can claw their way back into the postseason despite the heartbreaking losses and soul-crushing injuries.