It’s very unfortunate that the Cowboys are playing a meaningless game in the final week of the year. I’m sure we all had very high expectations for this football team coming into the season, and we’re all a bit disappointed how it turned out. But at the end of the day, we’re fans.
We’ll root hard for our favorite football team when they take the field versus the Philadelphia Eagles, regardless of the situation. While neither team is playing for anything today, in this season’s final edition of Cowboys Wishlist, there are still a few things I’d like to see in this game.
Wish #1: Avoid Unnecessary Injuries
Jason Garret said earlier this week, everyone who’s healthy will play and anyone who isn’t won’t.
It’s been a pretty disappointing season, and we all want this team to at least show us something before we move on to the 2018 offseason. A spark, a win, something…
But is it worth it?
Tough season and all, the truth is this franchise sees a big future for sophomore QB Dak Prescott. They gain nothing by playing their starters in a game like this, and with Tyron Smith on Injured Reserve and La’el Collins not practicing, why take the risk of playing #4 today?
From a fan’s romantic perspective, of course we all want to see him on the field to end the year on a high note, but once you put that aside… there’s really not a good reason for him to play.
Wish #2: Ryan Switzer Thrives with Beasley Out
One of Cowboys Nation’s beloved Cowboys didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia, and he’ll be out for the final game of the year. Fortunately, there’s a Cole Beasley clone in the form of rookie Ryan Switzer for Dallas.
Switzer has proven his worth as a kick return specialist and today will be his best test as an actual wide receiver.
Honestly, we haven’t seen much of him from a receiver perspective as the team has barely used him, and when they did, it was mostly as a gadget player.
It’ll be interesting to see how he does while replacing Beasley on the offense.
Switz has a lot to prove in the Cowboys’ season finale. I wish he does.
Wish #3: Taco Charlton Gets a Lot of Playing Time
Despite not being a fan of the pick, believe me when I tell you I’m rooting hard for this kid. I do so with every Cowboy on the roster.
Taco Charlton has had a few good rushes in his last three games, and he even made some big plays versus Seattle last week.
Is it possible that he’s improving? At least he’s giving us way more hope than he was at the beginning of the season.
The game in which the first-round pick has played the most was the week 7 matchup versus the 49ers. According to Pro Football Reference, Taco was in for 38 snaps (57.6%). That and the Raiders game are the only two games in which he’s played over 50% of the defensive snaps.
This is the kind of football game in which you want your rookies to play more.
I hope the coaches give him enough playing time. We might even see him have a breakout game. At the very least, they should let him play.
Wish #4: Young Defensive Backs Keep Shining
One of the few groups you know won’t have starters resting is the secondary. With rookies Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods playing good football lately, you can bet on seeing these guys on the field today.
They have one more game left to gain all the experience they can before they go into the offseason with the objective of staying away from Anthony Brown’s steps of regressing in their second year.
Philly has nothing to play for, but they might play with their starters for a while since they need to get their Nick Foles-led offense in the best shape they can before the playoffs come around. These DBs have a chance to continue improving.
Wish #5: “Clear Eye View” – Jaylon Smith Has a Busy Day
Remember when we didn’t know what to expect from Jaylon Smith? We read reports about his health every once in a while, and were often left with a lot of questions about the promising linebacker.
While a lot of people thought he wouldn’t dress for a single game, he didn’t miss a single one!
In the final game of the year, Sean Lee will probably get some rest. Jaylon Smith saw his production increase when his snaps decreased. Even still, I wish #54 to get more reps in Philadelphia. It will serve as a test to see how he does and maybe even get us hyped for 2018.