The Dallas Cowboys will make the 2012 playoffs. No, that is not a misprint.
Yes, the Cowboys haven't played up to the "America's team" nickname they have adopted; heck, they haven't played up to that name since the late 1990's.
But at 6-6 the Cowboys have a chance to sneak into the playoffs, and with the schedule they have left, it just might happen. In fact, it will.
The Cowboys have won three of their last four and just got DeMarco Murray back from injury. Their defense has never been the problem; add a balanced offense and maybe, just maybe, they can put a run together down the stretch.
And you know once they get into the playoffs, anything can happen.
It sounds tougher than it really is. In fact, the most difficult game out of the four will probably be against Cincinnati. Especially if Ben Roethlisberger remains out.
Additionally, the Cowboys host two of the final four. Defense wins in December, and the Cowboys match up well against the Bengals and Pittsburgh.
The Cowboys will not get swept by Washington. Not going to happen.
If Jason Garrett just lets Tony Romo be Romo they should be fine offensively. All they need to worry about is staying healthy and avoid those costly turnovers.
DeMarco Murray has returned after missing six games due to injury. Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Murray had 83 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.
That's all you need to keep a defense honest. If you get that the rest of the way, that would be more than enough to get Romo that little extra time he needs.
A defense can't blitz as much because they have to play the run. The play-action will also be more effective with such a running game.
Not only will the rushing game help the passing game, but it will also help the defense.
A healthy dose of the rushing game keeps the opponent's quarterback off the field, thus allowing the defense a little extra time to rest.
A fresher defense equals a better defense.
During the past five games, Tony Romo has thrown only two interceptions. Through the first seven games, Romo had thrown 13.
That alone indicates that his decisions are becoming better.
That should also indicate that Jason Garrett should give Romo more chances, now that he isn't making that big mistake.
No one has ever questioned Romo's ability. What has been the issue has been his mistake-prone habits. Forcing balls, trying to make the spectacular play when it isn't there, or simply making poor decisions.
That simply isn't the case anymore, at least not during the past five games.
What people fail to realize is that it doesn't take a great team to make the playoffs or win a Super Bowl.
It doesn't even take a really good team to do that. It just takes a hot team that hits its stride at the right time.
Why not the Cowboys?
They have the talent, they just need to put it together.
As far-fetched as it may seem, sooner or later the Cowboys are going to put it together. Why not now?
As I said, they have won three of four, and if they can stay relatively healthy in the skilled positions, they can make that run.
Wins over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are just the kinds of victories that can get a team going.
All it takes is one win to turn a season around; that's what the Cowboys will be searching for next week against the Bengals.
That one win. If they get it, watch out.
After Sunday's games the Dallas Cowboys are in the seventh spot, behind the Seattle Seahawks, for that final wild-card playoff spot.
After everything they have gone through, they are just one game from being in the postseason. Amazing.
That's just how much of a mess the bottom of the NFC playoff picture is, and that may be the last bit of help the Cowboys need to get in the dance.
Today the Rams beat the Niners. That's all you need to know about the NFC West.
If the Cowboys win out, they would find themselves in the playoffs—with a little help from the 49ers, of course.