Do the Dallas Cowboys Have Enough in Their Tank to Book a Spot in the Playoffs?

Published 12/25/2020, 5:20 AM EST
Dec 8, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) celebrates with quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


In what can only be cited as a Christmas miracle, the Dallas Cowboys are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. With a 5-9 record and still somehow second in the NFC East, the Cowboys are in it by the virtue of mathematics. But if recent form is anything to go by, beating last season’s Super Bowl finalists is a pretty big deal. 

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The Cowboys, in a must-win game, pulled off a 41-33 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The win was their second on the trot. But in the past two games, Dallas seems to have found the spark needed to win football games. But is it too little, too late? 

Dallas Cowboys ride on against all odds

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For the Cowboys, the game against the 49ers was a must-win. But they also needed Washington to lose against the Seattle Seahawks to stay alive in the playoff race.

And it seems like the NFL gods heard the Cowboys’ prayers. Washington fell to a 20-15 loss to the Seahawks and sent statisticians crazy with the math once again. 

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For the Cowboys, their biggest upside is getting points on the board again. Through their last 2 games, the team has averaged 35.5 points to their name.

A steep increase from the 16.5 they averaged in the two games before that. Which incidentally were also games that they lost. 

The belief is that the Cowboys O-line is buying Andy Dalton just enough time to make the plays they need to get the all-important touchdowns via the aerial route.

With star running back Ezekiel Elliott enduring a tough spell with injuries this season, the Cowboys have had to go airborne more often than usual. But the Cowboys seem to have found a worthy alternative in Tony Pollard.

Dalton and Pollard hitting form 

The Cowboys having to opt for the aerial route hasn’t been helped by the fact that their star QB Dak Prescott is out injured as well. With backup Andy Dalton in the pocket, the Cowboys offense hasn’t found the consistency needed to win football games.

But Dalton’s output seems to be on the up. In the last 2 games, the quarterback has registered QB ratings of 122.6 and 96.7 respectively. He’s even managed to bag 2 touchdowns in each of those games. 

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Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) scrambles out of the pocket against New York Giants defensive end B.J. Hill (95) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Running back Tony Pollard as well had a night to remember against the 49ers. Scoring 2 touchdowns and averaging 5.8 yards per carry, the running back who is into his second year with the Cowboys didn’t let the absence of Elliot be felt as much as many expected. 

For the Cowboys, their last 2 games against division rivals Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants are must-wins. And while their fate doesn’t completely rest in their own hands, the side sure does seem to have found the spark needed to win football games. And maybe, just maybe, book themselves a spot in the Playoffs. 

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Shivayan Roy

565 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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