Dallas Cowboys: Is There a Chance the 'Boys Make the Playoffs?

Jason HenryCorrespondent INovember 21, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Quarterback Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles with the ball against tackle Sammie Hill #91 of the Detroit Lions at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  The Cowboys beat the Lions 35-19.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Ask the above question two short weeks ago to any Dallas Cowboys football fan and you were bound to get an ugly stare. After Sunday’s victory over the hapless Detroit Lions the Cowboys are now thinking: wild-card playoff berth?

Technically the Cowboys still have a chance to grab a wild-card spot. Now that the team’s record has improved to 3-7—including 2-0 under new head coach Jason Garrett—the Cowboys have hope.

Sunday’s contest against the Lions was sort of a playoff game for Garrett. As soon as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones handed him the keys to the Daewoo, he was officially on the clock. Can Garrett bring them back from the abyss? Will the team respond to a guy who was perceived to be part of the problem? Better yet and most important, can he lead the Cowboys to another win this season?

For at least two games we have our answer. With Tony Romo out, Wade Phillips gone and Dallas under a new defensive philosophy, it seemed that the deck was stacked against the ‘Boys from Valley Ranch.

However the Cowboys have responded better than anyone expected them to.

With the absence of Romo, the Cowboys passing attack was expected to drown in a sea of a 38-year old inferior, but it hasn’t. On Sunday Jon Kitna equaled Romo’s win total for this season with two as he passed his way to three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 129.7.

Rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant has turned into a monster of a receiver as Kitna’s favorite target. Against Detroit, Bryant only caught three balls for eight yards but one of those catches went for a touchdown.

Now that the Cowboys are playing more zone, they have much more of a bend-don’t-break defense. They allowed 338 total yards, with backup quarterback Shaun Hill tossing a couple of touchdown passes and 289 yards through the air.

With the Cowboys' newfound sense of self, will this translate to a playoff berth for the new-look Cowboys?

As my mom would always tell me when I tried to close my bedroom door when my girlfriend came over—no.

The Cowboys have been a nice two-week story. They’ve won a couple of games and put up some nice numbers, and they are playing hard for their new head coach. But take a look at their upcoming schedule and any hopes of a playoff berth start to fade.

On Thanksgiving the Cowboys will welcome the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl champs. These aren’t the same two teams who met last season in the Superdome either. I’m thinking that the Cowboys may be brought back down from their space orbit on Thursday but it’s not like the Saints scare anyone these days.

After New Orleans, Dallas travels to Indianapolis to meet an angry Colts team who just lost to the resurgent New England Patriots.

After that the schedule just gets tougher as NFC East teams like the Eagles and Redskins remain.

If—and this is a huge if—the Cowboys are still standing (and by standing, I mean undefeated under Garrett) then we may be able to talk playoffs. But until then, the Cowboys are looking at a top 10 or 15 draft pick next season.

But why not enjoy the ride and ruin a few team’s playoff chances while you’re at it?


You can catch Jason’s radio show, “Monday Night Quarterback,” every Monday night at 8pm ET/7pm CT on www.blogtalkradio.com/cowboyjay.


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