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Sunday Night Football: Cowboys and Redskins for the NFC East Title

 

What’s that smell? Is it a bunch of Cowboys fans in here? Dexter Manley thinks so, as the former Redskins said that Cowboys fans were stinky folk this week:

“Most of ‘em have had bad breath, and most of ‘em have hardly no teeth, whether black or white, and have run-over shoes. So that tells me that most of them have been Dallas Cowboys fans. They seem to be the ugliest people in the National Football League. I don’t understand that. Redskins fans, they wear a suit and tie, nice shoes, the heels not run-over, and no bad breath.”

It’s Redskins-Cowboys, for all the Tostitos, just one year after the Cowboys had a similar chance against the Giants. The winner of that one went on to the Super Bowl. The common belief is that the Dallas Cowboys cannot win such games. A year ago, I wrote about it, and might as well just say it again:

 

The narrative is that the Cowboys cannot win this game because they come up small in big games and at key moments. The Giants, meanwhile, have been pretty good in close games, including the earlier meeting. The thing about narratives is they are at risk of being wrong until the final chapter is officially closed. It is true that Dallas has squandered plenty of opportunities, starting with the opener in this same stadium against the Jets, and had they done better in a few of those games, this one would be moot. The Cowboys are 4-5 in games decided by a touchdown or less, while the Giants have gone 5-3, though they are only 1-3 after an early hot start in close games.

History doesn’t guarantee the future, and so Dallas has an opportunity to re-write their history, and Tony Romo, who has battled through injuries and played pretty well after that rough start with interceptions against the Jets and Lions, has a chance to change the narrative. Of course, if he does, people will forget this was a big game and talk about the one he loses.

Well, Dallas came up short again. Maybe they are fatally flawed. That flaw, though, now, is a defense that is just demolished. Both of these teams have survived defensive injuries enough to get to this point. Both have leaky secondaries. The winner will get just enough defensive plays. The coaches need to be aggressive, and not put it on their defenses if it is close. That seems to favor Shanahan versus Garrett, though as with anything, history can always re-write itself.

[photo via USA Today Sports Images]

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