At the culmination of every NFL week I adjust a set of mini helmets to reflect the standings as they are at that particular point in the season. This is the most recent rendition:
After Week 1 of the 2016 season the Dallas Cowboys were in 4th Place in the NFC East. When Week 2 was done the Cowboys had moved up to 3rd Place in the NFC East, where they stayed through Week 3. At the culmination of Week 4 the Cowboys managed to claw their way up to 2nd Place in the NFC East. Finally, after Week 5 of the 2016 NFL season… the Dallas Cowboys sat atop the NFC East.
Since then (Week 5 ended on Sunday, October 9th) America's Team has never surrendered the title of Lead Dog in the NFC East race. When the Cowboys officially begin play against the Giants in New York this Sunday, that will mark 63 straight days of dominance in the NFL's most storied division.
There's another thing about this upcoming Cowboys game against the G-Men. While a victory would certainly extend their streak of sitting atop the NFC East, it would add permanence to it. A win in New York on Sunday wins the NFC East for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys have been holding down the NFC East for basically the entire season. It's time to write that message in stone. We hold down the NFC East, and we are going to prove it. Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let’s roll.
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Anthony Hitchens Gets The Interception That Wasn't This Time Around
Last week in Minnesota the Dallas Cowboys saw a star-studded effort by one of their up-and-coming young linebackers – Anthony Hitchens. “Hitch”, as he's known, had what would have been one of the finer interceptions on the season if not for a penalty committed by his teammate, Orlando Scandrick.
Later in the ballgame Hitch almost secured another interception… it was just seemingly his night out in Minnesota. We saw Anthony Hitchens kind of catch lightning in a bottle late down the stretch of the 2014 season… this is simply the time that he has a proclivity to shine for.
Get that interception, Hitch. You deserve it.
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Jason Garrett Wins Another Challenge
Even though the Dallas Cowboys entered last week's game in Minnesota with 10 wins to their name, Jason Garrett managed to do something in the game that he hadn't all season.
With the Cowboys rocking color rush uniforms, Jason Garrett threw a red challenge flag… and won! For the first time across the entire 2016 season, Jason Garrett's red handkerchief came in handy. Oh, what a sweet season.
The nature of the NFL in 2016 is that weird calls are made all the time – by the way, how sad is that? – and coaches continually have to challenge so many things in order to make sure the correct call is made.
Warm up the arm, Jason Garrett. You're going to be tossing a red flag on Sunday Night.
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Jason Witten Has 10+ Catches On The Night
The only thing the Cowboys left in Minnesota last week was an impressive streak of Jason Witten's, 130 consecutive game with a catch. At the end of the day stuff like this is significantly less important than a win, but it still stings just a bit.
A lot of comparisons have been made about the 2016 Cowboys to the 2007 Cowboys. These are the only teams in franchise history to go 11-1 through their first 12 games, and they both dominated teams in epic fashion.
On December 9th, 2007 – nine years ago to the date, on the day this being published – the Cowboys traveled to Detroit for a game against the Lions. In the same timeless effort he exhibits almost a decade later, Jason Witten was dominant. He had 15 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown as the Dallas Cowboys clinched the NFC East.
Big Wit is going over 10 catches. It's destiny.
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Dez Bryant Channels This Night From 2014 With A 3 TD Performance
Obviously the last time the Dallas Cowboys had this level of success was the 2014 season. That year, seven days after Thanksgiving, they traveled to face an NFC North team (the Chicago Bears) and picked up an important victory.
Those Cowboys had 10 days of rest following Chicago and used it as momentum before a big-time divisional showdown in Philadelphia against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. There was a lot of trash-talking going on before that game, but the real trash on the field was the quality of play the Eagles defensive backs exhibited. Dez Bryant caught 6 passes for 114 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The 2014 Cowboys would end up clinching the division a week later, but these Cowboys have the chance to do it in the primetime divisional showdown with the Giants. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same set of circumstances for them. They traveled to face an NFC North team (the Minnesota Vikings) seven days after Thanksgiving, and they are now on the road against an NFC East team with 10 days of rest on Sunday Night Football.
Just like he did in this game two years ago, Dez Bryant is going to hit the hat trick of touchdowns on the night. Bam, bam, bam.
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The Dallas Cowboys Win By A Poetic Score Of 37-34
The Cowboys and Giants have squared off many a time in their long history, but they have only ever met once on December 11th (like they will on Sunday). This was December 11th, 2011, and it was the famous JPP-block game on NBC's Sunday Night Football.
That 2011 Giants victory in Dallas propelled New York to a run that would culminate in a Super Bowl XLVI Championship. It also propelled the Cowboys to a road that saw them finishing 8-8 on the season, a feat they'd match each of the next two seasons.
This is poetry at its finest, except this time it rhymes with Dallas. Sometimes fate circles back around, seemingly giving us another chance at what we once almost had. Here is our chance. Here is our December 11th. Let's win it exactly like we lost it five years ago, by a score of 37-34. Huzzah.
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Bonus Bold Predictions
Remember, if you want YOUR Bold Prediction featured here, tweet it at me! It’s that simple! Here are this week’s contributions, thanks to all those who shared!
bold prediction vs the G-men Sunday RJ, Dak throws for 320, 4 td's, Dez 120 yards 2 td's,Zeke 140 yards 1td,Beasley 100 yards n 2td
@rjochoa I got a prediction Butler and Beasley will get a td.. and Irving will get a force fumble
[signoff author=”rjochoa” source=”rjoshow”]