Saturday, November 14, 2009

Following The Yankees' Lead, Dallas Cowboys Could Be On The Verge

by Stephen Clay

Cowboy fans, can this really be the year?

I'm not going to totally jump the gun on how far the Dallas Cowboys will go this season. In recent years, the team has looked strong in stretches but have faltered at year's end before flaming out in the playoffs, assuming they got there.

Racing to a fast 6-2 record with winnable games coming up against Green Bay, Washington and Oakland, the Boys could be looking at a six game winning streak heading into the home stretch. December has been a disaster for quarterback Tony Romo, but so far he has performed at a surprisingly high level, with better focus without feeling the pressure from Terrell Owens to throw him the damn ball.

Can this really be the year?

If there is any possible way to hold out hope that this is the year, then look no further than this year's version of the New York Yankees. Similarities between the Bronx Bombers and America's Team are eerie:

both opened up new facilities this year
both have maligned superstars who have suffered from past big game or playoff failures (Romo, Alex Rodriguez)
both teams are the most popular in their respective leagues with storied traditions

both have been without a world championship for a prolonged period
The Yankees overcame many of the areas that have held them back in past years, culminating into a World Series win over the Philadelphia Phillies. December and the probable playoffs will be the Cowboys moment of truth.

Looking Beyond November

Dallas will have a formidable task ahead of them to overcome their past.

Dec. 6th is a road game against the New York Giants. While the Giants have slipped in recent weeks, they will still provide a stiff challenge, especially in cold weather.

Dec. 13th, the San Diego Chargers visit Texas Stadium. The Chargers are expected to be playing for the AFC West and will play the game with urgency. With Phillip Rivers at quarterback and the trio of towers at receiver (Antonio Gates 6'4", Vincent Jackson 6'5", and Malcolm Floyd 6'5") the passing attack will be a tough one for Dallas' defense to contain.

Dec. 19th is back on the road, this time in the Superdome to play the New Orleans Saints. The Saints quite possibly has the most prolific passing attack since the "Greatest Show on Turf" teams in St. Louis a decade ago. Considering, chances are the NFC Championship will have to go through New Orleans, this will truly be a statement game for both teams.

Dec. 27th, at Washington Redskins. Who knows what kind of shape the Redskins will be in? But one thing you about the Redskins, they will want to knock off their rival regardless of the records.

The season finale, Jan. 3rd against the Philadelphia Eagles at home. The Eagles will be expected to be in the hunt for a playoff spot and will want to get revenge for the Nov. 8th loss at home to the Cowboys.

Dallas should be able to win at least three of their final five games. If not, it could be business as usual and the possibility of even missing the playoffs. But we won't think that way, will we Cowboy fans?