The Dallas Cowboys’ Kryptonite is Clearly Divisional Rival New York
It was a fairly tale season up to this point for the Dallas Cowboys who entered last night's game with divisional nemesis New York with an 11-1 record. With a win, Dallas would have clinched a first round bye and won their division with three games yet to play. The Giants had other plans though, as they shut the Cowboys' prolific offense down to get a hard fought 10-7 win, hence sweeping the season series.
Both defenses put on a show on Sunday night and played virtually flawless football, and in reality the Giants won the game because of one play; a 61 yard TD pass from Manning to ODB late in the third quarter, occurring after Prescott threw his second INT of the game. Had it not been for that one play, Dallas probably would have won the game 7-3.
Prescott played like a rookie on Sunday night by going 17 of 37 for 165 yards and threw 2 picks. The Giants' stellar D shut down all of the Cowboys' offensive weapons with the exception of Ezequiel Elliot who rushed for 107 yards on 24 carries. If the G-men do make the playoffs, which after their victory last night seems inevitable, then they should get their dominant DE Jason Pierre-Paul back, and could be quite a threat in the NFC.
A few observations about the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC with a few weeks left in the regular season are as follows. The Cowboys, who a few weeks ago clearly looked to be the team to beat in the NFC, and were in great shape to win the division and get home field throughout the playoffs, are playing rather mediocre football on the offensive side of the ball the past couple of weeks. We must not forget, it is December and the Cowboys have historically struggled mightily during the stretch run of the season.
The Giants have the Cowboys number, and are now more than likely playoff bound, if these two happen to meet again in the post season it should be interesting to see what happens, as it is quite challenging to beat a team three times in one season. With that being said, if these two teams played ten times, it would seem that the Giants would win 7 or 8 out of those games. Another thing to keep in mind is, if Prescott struggles down the stretch, is it then necessary to put Romo in? He is the seasoned veteran and the highest paid backup QB in the NFL.
The NFC is becoming as competitive as it gets with teams like Detroit, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, New York and Atlanta coming on strong lately, and all of these teams pose considerable challenges to the Cowboys, assuming they all make the post season. Dallas has one of the more difficult schedules in the NFL the final few weeks of the season as they host the Bucs and Lions the next two weeks at home, both teams are red hot and have won 5 in a row. The Cowboys travel to Philly in the season finale, and the Eagles will look to potentially play spoiler against America's team.
The Cowboys will be tested during their final run towards the post season, the question remains, do they truly have the heart of a champion to finish strong, and live up to their potential, only time will tell.