In the aftermath of the Dallas Cowboys 13-9 loss to the New England Patriots, there has been a lot of much-deserved criticism thrown toward America's Team. While the Cowboys have certainly earned that criticism, it's important to keep perspective that this team has a lot to play for and still has a shot at contending in 2019.
The Dallas Cowboys have been disappointing this year. Can't deny that. Self-inflicted mistakes via penalties or turnovers and some questionable coaching decisions have put the Cowboys in playoff mode with still five weeks left in the regular season. Every game from here on out is a must-win, starting with Thursday's matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Though they hold a one-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Thanksgiving Day affair is a huge game for this team for 2019 and the future. Get a win on Thursday and move to 7-5 and things are looking a little bit better with the struggling Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins remaining on the schedule.
While things look bleak, the Cowboys still control their own destiny in the NFC East, and though there may not be a ton of confidence surrounding this team, getting into the playoffs is the first step to making a championship run. Can this team get right by the playoffs? Though it looks doubtful, it's certainly possible.
Let's not forget the 2007 New York Giants who came into the postseason as a 9-7 wild card team and won three straight road games in the playoffs before knocking off the undefeated New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. I'm sure there was a ton of doubt about their prospects to contend for a championship that season before pulling off their remarkable run.
Then in 2010, the Green Bay Packers entered the postseason 10-6 as the sixth seed, and like the Giants just three years before, won three road games and then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.
It's difficult to advance out of the wild card round and to the Super Bowl, especially in the stacked NFC, but it's not impossible. There's still a chance the Cowboys could right the ship in time to make a deep run in the playoffs. It may be easy not to find hope with the way this season's gone, but if last year is any indication, this team has the capability of getting hot, they've just struggled to find consistency.
Amidst all the controversy surrounding the team a win on Thanksgiving Day could turn things around. It won't come easy against the 8-3 Buffalo Bills, but a win on a short week over a quality team could provide the confidence boost they need to finish the season on the right foot.
Even the most optimistic Cowboys fan, such as myself, found themselves frustrated after a close loss on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions. So, while the loss was frustrating, it isn't over till it's over. For as long as the Dallas Cowboys have a shot to make the playoffs, they have a shot to win the Super Bowl this year. It may be a slim chance, but hey, there's a chance. Things have to get better, but while they still have breath to breathe in the 2019 season, let's not pull the plug on the Dallas Cowboys just yet.