If you ever wanted to learn to bet on sports then I would suggest you click on over to Sportsbook Review, but if you ever wanted a lesson in resolve then I would submit to you as evidence the Dallas Cowboys' 36-35 win over the Giants last week. It was a game that meant nothing to Dallas, after already clinching the division crown and waiting to see which wildcard entry they would host. But they came to play, not roll over, and mustered a victory that was steeped in pride rather than desperation.
Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett didn't completely mail it in but let's just say the package was nearly full as he held out Ezekiel Elliott and two of his top offensive linemen. He did, however, allow Dak Prescott to suit up and air it out against Big Blue in Week 17 and the results were nothing short of dazzling.
Prescott melted the New York secondary like butter in a blast furnace and when the dust settled, he had passed for 387 yards, four touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Let's also not forget Tight End Blake Jarwin, who caught seven of the eight passes thrown to him for a season-high 119 yards and notched three touchdown receptions after failing to score all season.
Whether this victory translates into plenty of good vibrations in their game against the Seahawks this week is anyone's guess. However, it would appear that having your starting quarterback buoyed by what was arguably his finest performance of the year, coupled with a refreshed offensive line and a superstar tailback who has had two weeks free of violent hits, is nothing but a big ball of good karma when the team needs it most.
Head Coach Jason Garrett had this to say after the game:
“That might be for people outside our building, talking about the meaningful or meaningless nature of a game. They're all very meaningful to us. It's opportunity for us to improve as a football team, to finish strong, to have some momentum going into the playoffs.”
It's unlikely Garrett would have shared the same sentiment had the Cowboys come out flat and lost to their divisional rival from New York. After all, if all the games were truly meaningful, then Elliott would have started and so too would have his entire starting offensive line.
But let's give credit where credit is due. Garrett did start Prescott and more importantly, he let him finish what he started.
The coach didn't get squeamish down the stretch and pull Prescott when the team needed him most. With just over a minute to play, Prescott took the snap from center, scanned the field on fourth and 15, and found Cole Beasley for a 32-yard touchdown strike. Garrett then ordered his charges back on the field to go for the win via a two-point conversion. Prescott, hot as a pistol, found Michael Gallup for a quick conversion and victory was imminent.
As the Seattle Seahawks enter the postseason, their Week 17 result may have been identical to Dallas's in terms of the W on their record, but their execution in doing so against the worst team in football, the Arizona Cardinals, was hardly inspiring. For those that want to learn to bet on sports, the first rule is to learn what a point spread is, and in this case, Seattle won the game 27-24 but never even sniffed covering as 14 ½ point home favorites.
Many Cowboys fans will remember the 24-13 loss suffered early in the season to Seattle but this team has evolved since that time and the acquisition of Amari Cooper has given the Dallas offense far more swagger than it had before.
And finally, the Cowboys have won seven of their last eight and are 7-1 straight up at home this season.
Although it would be foolish of the Cowboys and its fans to overlook Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this week, they do say Los Angeles is beautiful in mid-January. Here's hoping we find out for ourselves after the week is done.