Biggest Roadblocks Keeping Dallas Cowboys from Reaching the Playoffs

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Biggest Roadblocks Keeping Dallas Cowboys from Reaching the Playoffs
David Banks/Getty Images

In one of the most crucial games of the 2013 season, the Dallas Cowboys were embarrassed by the Bears, losing 45-28 in Chicago Monday night.  

With the loss, Dallas fell out of a first-place tie with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East Division.  At 7-6 on the season, Dallas will have to overcome more than a couple of roadblocks to make the playoffs.  Let’s take a look at them:

 

1.)  Dallas Pass Rush

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 According to NFL.com, the Cowboys are tied for 12th in the NFC Conference with only 27 sacks as a team this season.  

Getting to the quarterback and racking up more sacks will prevent opposing quarterbacks from putting together long drives on this defense.  

If they want to have any shot at making the playoffs, the pass rush really needs to step it up over these final three weeks of the season.  

 

2.)  Cowboys Secondary 

David Banks/Getty Images

Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Matt Forte picked apart the Dallas secondary Monday night.  Together the trio collected over 250 receiving yards and two touchdowns.  

It was also the sixth time this season the team allowed the opposing quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in a game.  

So, without an improvement from both the pass rush and the secondary, this team will continue to get burned.  

 

3.)  Running Game

David Banks/Getty Images

 According to NFL.com, the Dallas Cowboys are ranked 24th in the league with only 1,219 rushing yards on the season.  

With only 93.8 rushing yards per game, the ground attack just isn't doing enough right now.  

DeMarco Murray is leading the team with 5.3 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns this season.

Aside from his 843 total rushing yards, there hasn't been any explosiveness in the backfield, as the second highest leading rusher has gained only 164 yards on the season.  

While Tony Romo is having one of the best seasons of his career, the Cowboys must mix in a few more running plays per game to keep opposing defenses guessing.   

 

4.)  The High-flying Birds 

Elsa/Getty Images

After a resurgence thanks to quarterback Nick Foles, Chip Kelly’s Eagles have found their groove.  

The young and talented quarterback has outshone Michael Vick, throwing 20 touchdowns to only one interception on the season.  With a passer rating of 120.0, Foles is at the top of the league right now.  

In the seven games he has started this year, the Eagles are 6-1, having currently won five straight games.  This is a completely different team since the Cowboys last met them and won in Week 7.  

Dallas will host Philadelphia in the last game of the season.  If the Cowboys get the job done and defeat both the struggling Packers and Redskins, this game should be the determining game for the NFC East Division title.  

The Cowboys are far from eliminated from playoff contention, but in order to win these final three games, they have to make these necessary adjustments.  It should be an exciting finish in a division that has been close all season long.  

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