A three game winning streak to end the season. A blowout victory over the Eagles to avenge the season ending disaster last season. The #2 offense in the NFL. The #2 scoring defense in the NFL. Six pro bowlers. NFC East Champions. All of this sounds good doesn't it?
The Cowboys have achieved more than many of the preseason prognosticators ever imagined. I would like to point out that I picked the Cowboys to go 11-5...but I also picked them to win the Super Bowl the year before so I can't boast too much. Now I also predicted a playoff win so there is still some work to be done. And that is what the Cowboys are thinking as well.
All of the regular season accomplishments and accolades will be greatly diminished if the Cowboys can't find a way to put on a repeat performance against the Eagles Saturday night. But if they do win on Saturday they suddenly have a very real shot at greatness this season. I'm trying to look at this one game at a time but it is hard not to let your mind start playing out the playoffs. Minnesota will be next if the Cowboys win but we'll save that talk for next week.
It is pretty obvious that Tony Romo has turned into the quarterback that we were all starting to wonder if he could be. He is a playmaker who also knows how to protect the ball. His transformation is the biggest key to the success of the team this season. The defense has been great in the second half of the season but without Tony Romo this team would be nowhere near its current level.
After the blatant late hit by the Eagles defender late in the game it became obvious how important Tony Romo is (how do the officials miss that call by the way???). As he slowly got himself off the turf everyone was holding their breath knowing that he was the key to any potential playoff run. Turns out he is fine but for a few brief seconds images of Brad Johnson flashed through my head.
So now the Cowboys face the task of stomping out what remains of their demons of last season. The Eagles clearly did not play their best game on Sunday and you can be sure they'll be ready to go Saturday night. The Cowboys need to not just match but exceed the intensity of the Eagles just like they did on Sunday. I believe the Cowboys have superior talent and coaching but they have to prove it one more time.
There are a lot of fans who seem to have quickly forgotten what can happen when you face a team in the playoffs who you are facing for the third time. The 2007 season ended in a similar situation when the Giants pulled the upset after the Cowboys had swept the regular season games. I am sure that Andy Reid is looking at the tape and drawing up plays to expose any holes in the Cowboys defense. And you can be sure that Sean McDermott will be dialing up more blitzes this week after watching his defense get manhandled by the Cowboys offense.
Jason Garrett and Wade Phillips need to add some new wrinkles this week and I'm sure they know that. If they can do a few things to keep the Eagles off balance then I believe they will finally end this playoff drought talk that has been killing all of the loyal fans for 13 years. That is a long time to wait for your team to make a playoff run.
You know Donovan McNabb and the Eagles won't go quietly on Saturday. DeSean Jackson has to be contained again and Tony Romo has to keep beating the blitzes with quick passes to his wideouts and running backs. Something tells me that Roy Williams will be more involved this week because I'm guessing the Eagles will be ignoring him this week defensively after he was shut out. I like Roy's attitude but it seems like he and Martellus Bennett are the only two guys who can't find a grove with Tony Romo.
I'm trying to remember to enjoy the win and the NFC championship that the Cowboys just won, but I can't do it knowing that the game I have been waiting to see for 13 years is right around the corner. I hope the fans bring even more energy to the stadium this week because the team needs it. A playoff win is so close you can taste it. It feels like the big moment is finally here for the Dallas Cowboys but they have to go stomp the Eagles again to give everyone what they've been waiting for. I can't wait for Saturday night!