I can’t remember the last time that Cowboys Nation‘s hopes were so low. The Dallas Cowboys have faced quite a few tough games in the recent past, but before this team takes on the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles on week 11’s edition of Sunday Night Football, fans know this will be more than a tough game.
If the Cowboys lose tonight, playoff hopes won’t look very… well, hopeful. On the other hand, should the Cowboys win, this could be the one game they need in order to completely turn around their season.
With that being said, I want to leave something clear. Every Gameday, the one and only wish on our minds is: just win.
My weekly Cowboys’ wishlists are meant to be a fun read for all of Cowboys Nation looking for a healthy, light discussion on what would be some fun scenarios. Now, I present to you this week’s edition of Cowboys Wishlist!
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Wish #1: Rookie Defensive Backs Shine
Although he still has a long way to go, rookie CB Jourdan Lewis has been more than impressive during his first year in the NFL. However, I’m not talking about Lewis right now.
I want to see Xavier Woods and Chidobe Awuzie stand out versus the Eagles. With Jeff Heath unlikely to play this week, Woods is expected to start at safety against an offense led by the MVP front-runner Carson Wentz.
Woods has played very well just about every time he’s been on the field, and I truly believe he will end up with Jeff Heath’s job once the latter is cleared to return.
Second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie looks ready to come back to the football field after fully practicing for two consecutive weeks. We might see him at cornerback as well as at safety.
With a secondary that has some issues but still is very promising, seeing some results by the defensive backs would brink a needed-spark for a defense that will be playing without its center piece, Sean Lee.
Wish #2: Dak Outplays Wentz With an MVP-like Performance
Oh, the Eagles.
Just when we thought we couldn’t hate our rivals more, the Wentz-Prescott rivalry was born. I think it’s insanely fun to have a rivalry like this taking place in the division, specially since both QBs are only in their second year of NFL action.
If the Cowboys want to win this game, the key on offense has got to be Dak Prescott.
It doesn’t matter if the back-up running back committee is pretty solid, Scott Linehan has to center this offense around Dak. Prescott needs to put on a show at Jerry’s World, an MVP-like performance to give this football team a chance at victory.
All of Cowboys Nation would go crazy if Prescott outplays Wentz tonight. Make it happen, 4.
Wish #3: DeMarcus Lawrence Wins the Battle vs Lane Johnson
Speaking of keys to win football games, on the defensive side of the ball, the player who’ll have to step up for the Cowboys, is DeMarcus Lawrence. We all know Sean Lee won’t be playing so it’s time for this pass rush to take it to another level.
Both Lawrence and Irving have been killing it all season long, but this is their chance to prove they can win football games.
Although I’m sure we’ll see a bit of Lawrence at RDE, I think he’ll be lining up against Eagles’ Right Tackle Lane Johnson most of the game. I’m counting on D-Law beating Johsnon to get after Wentz, giving our beloved Cowboys a shot.
Wish #4: Offensive Line Allows Less Than 3 Sacks
Remember that one time when Dak Prescott was sacked a bazillion times in Atlanta? I’m pretty sure we don’t want to see anything like that ever again. Tyron Smith hasn’t been ruled out yet, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll play today.
Instead, look for Byron Bell to start at LT for the Cowboys. While I don’t expect him to play like Chaz Green a week ago (if you can call that “playing”), I certainly don’t expect him to be awesome.
However, as Staff Writer Kevin Brady wrote earlier this week, the Cowboys have had a week to prepare for this game. If Dak Prescott can leave this game without being sacked more than three times, call it a win for this OL… or at least, improvement.
Wish #5: Cowboys Get Away With a Trick Play
Dallas should be desperate to get a win. With a 5-4 record, if they want to be able to play January football there is little room for error. At times like this, NFL teams sometimes go to bold plays to get a spark and try to turn things around.
We saw them trying to pull off a fake punt in Atlanta last week, but I’m thinking about another memory.
Last year, on fourth and eight yards to go, Chris Jones ran a fake punt in the third quarter of a Sunday Night showdown between the Eagles and the Cowboys. I was there, and it was one of the best moments of my life.
We all know how the story ends. The Cowboys rallied from a ten-point deficit to beat the Eagles in overtime.
I would love to see a trick play in the works once again. It would provide this football team a big spark, and they might need it to win this game.
I’m just saying, Jason Garrett… get bold and try something similar.
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On a more serious note, Cowboys Nation’s most important wish today will be about only one thing. The 2017 Dallas Cowboys have a chance to shock the world. Philadelphia is coming from a bye week, and it just might be one of those games when the underdog surprises the entire league and its fans.
Dak Prescott is a very special player, and he makes special things happen. Now would be the perfect time to prove it.