Don't Look Now, but Dallas Cowboys Could Be Dangerous Playoff Team

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02:  Cornerback Morris Claiborne #24 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates while crossing the goal line to score on a fumble recovery as quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on at Cowboys Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have the potential to be this year's version of the 2011 New York Giants if they can just get into the playoffs.

That's a big "if", as you surely know if you read my column on Monday about how the Cowboys can sneak into the tournament. 

Still, if the Cowboys manage to clean up their mistakes—both in the turnover battle and in the penalty department—this team has the pieces to be the most dangerous team in the NFC.

If they get in.

Let's take a look at three reasons why the Cowboys could be a terror in January.


Dez Bryant

Anyone who's watched Bryant play for more than 15 minutes can tell you he's the real deal. 

In fact, if Bryant could consistently keep his mind on football, learn to be humble and stay healthy, he has the potential to become one of the all-time great wide receivers in NFL history. 

And Bryant has been coming on strong of late, posting one touchdown or more in each of his last four games. During this stretch, he's caught 29 passes for 475 yards with six touchdowns. 

The man is on fire

Tony Romo has been targeting him on a regular basis of late, and he's coming through in the clutch.

Even more encouraging than his production, which has been solid since he joined the team in 2010, is the fact that Bryant hasn't been dropping many passes lately. Furthermore, he's only fumbled the ball once in the past five games after fumbling four times in his first seven. 

If Bryant continues trending up, the Cowboys will be dangerous in the playoffs. 


Tony Romo

Romo was horrible earlier this year.

He threw 13 interceptions during the team's first seven games compared to just nine touchdowns. It didn't help that he was getting lambasted by opposing defenders due to the Cowboys' porous offensive line.

Since Week 9, though, Romo has made the necessary adjustments in order to fix his mistakes, and his numbers have dramatically improved as a result. 

During the past five games, Romo has thrown 10 touchdown passes compared to just two interceptions, completing 138-of-200 passes (69 percent) for 1,587 yards. 

Combined with the return of DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys' offense has a chance to spring to life in the playoffs after laying dormant for much of the first half of this season. 



Unless every other team in the hunt for the NFC East crown and No. 6 seed in the NFC suddenly tanks, we have to operate under the assumption that the Cowboys need to win out in order to make the playoffs. 

If they do manage to win all four of their remaining games and get the necessary help from the other teams competing for the same playoff spots, then Dallas' momentum would be cresting at just the right time to make an epic run at the Super Bowl. 

As we've learned so many times in the past, having the best record doesn't make you a favorite to win the Super Bowl. All it takes is for teams to get hot at the right time, and momentum does the rest. 

It's going to be fun watching the Cowboys compete with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, and Seattle Seahawks for one of two spots in the postseason tournament. 

Stay tuned, folks. It could be an exhilarating ride. 


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