The Dallas Cowboys are 8-1, best record in the NFL but many still have their reservations about their legitimacy. Why? What have they done during the season that has many questioning whether they are real contenders?
“I will give them credit for their record but they have played a cupcake schedule”.
This burns me up. What is a cupcake schedule actually? The Cowboys did not pick who they had to play. And, if a team has done their job better than others than it becomes a dissection of a schedule. So, let’s do just that. Let’s break down the Cowboys wins and see whats’ what.
Are they contenders or pretenders?
Week 1 (New York Giants)
The Cowboys took their only loss of the season against a division rival. Many thought this would be the sign of things to come, but they would be wrong. But even that loss was by a single point as it was a poor judgment call of the receiver to get out of bounds.
Week 2 (Washington Redskins)
Back-to-back division game and this one against the reigning NFC East champs in their home stadium. That win spoke volumes about the current Cowboy’s team.
Week 3 (Chicago Bears)
Yes, the Bears can be considered weak, but that’s what happens when you don’t have your starting QB. Maybe Jay Cutler would not have made a difference but the two losses the Bears had heading into the game were to division leaders in the Texans and the Eagles.
Week 4 (San Francisco 49ers)
This is a given. The 49ers are clearly not one of the best teams in the NFL. Any team with them on their schedule should think victory but you still must go out and perform.
Week 5 (Cincinnati Bengals)
The Bengals were 2-2 heading into this matchup and this is the game many thought the Cowboys would fold. The Bengals are annual visitors to the playoffs and the Cowboys are as inexperienced as any team in the NFL. But their rookies came to play and the defense held the explosive A.J. Green to 50 yards receiving.
Week 6 (Green Bay Packers)
If the Bengals win was a test, then heading to heading to Lambeau was the mid-term exam. The thought alone should scare any rookie into a corner but Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott showed Aaron Rodgers just how deadly a team the ‘Boys are. The Pack were 3-1 heading into this game and went and held Rodgers, forcing him into three costly turnovers.
Week 8 (Philadelphia Eagles)
Division showdown for top spot in the NFC East. The Cowboys looked lost until the 4th when the rookies took over.
Week 9 (Cleveland Browns)
The Browns are much like the 49ers. You see them on your schedule and it should be an automatic victory.
Week 10 (Pittsburgh Steelers)
The Steelers are struggling but they still have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The Cowboys defense did their part and the offense managed the game just enough for them to walk out of a hostile Heinz Field with a road victory.
Anyone can look at ANY teams schedule all call out so-called cupcake games. There is not one team in this league who’s schedule is full of playoff contenders. But as an Eagles fan, what has me offering praise to the Cowboys is what they have done in terms of personal. They are led by two of the brightest and explosive rookies the NFL as seen in a while. Prescott was not supposed t see the field this season, and maybe not at all during his NFL career. Remember, he was the third string at best. Elliott was a risk with the 4th pick but he is now the NFL leading rusher. Their wins have come despite the absence od Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
You can focus on their schedule but also focus on them as a team. When a person has a dislike for you, they will look for any weakness and try to exploit it and bring it to light. Hence, the whole cupcake schedule thing. You can’t talk about their production, check the rankings and stats. They have shown poise. The ‘Boys went into Lambeau and Heinze Field and came away victorious.
But this is the one that gets me. “I can see them cracking under the pressure in the playoffs”. How? What proof does one have that this team is the same of the Romo-led teams in previous years? Will they crack due to their youth or inexperience, then the same can be said for any team in the league except the Seahawks and Patriots. But, neither of them won the Super Bow last year so…
The cupcake schedule makes no sense. You play who lines up in front of you, not the Cowboys fault they took care of business.