In Yet Another Twist, Dallas Cowboys Again Control Their Own Destiny

robert aSenior Analyst IDecember 21, 2008

It seems as if every single time the Cowboys appear to be dead in the water, the football gods smile down upon them and give them reason to hope. If only for a little while...

After a promising 4-1 start to the season, the Cowboys lost their starting quarterback Tony Romo in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In his absence, they were an abysmal 1-2, including embarrassing blowout losses to the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams. They were quickly falling out of the playoff picture.

Help came with the return of the newly energized Romo and finally healthy cornerback Terrance Newman allowing the Cowboys to reel off three-straight victories. The team was back! At least that was the word on the street and in the media.

The next week the Cowboys dropped a heartbreaker to Pittsburgh in a game that they had in their control until the final minutes. This should have been the start of the end, but Atlanta also lost a game earlier in the day.

As a result of that loss, the Cowboys actually gained ground in the playoff chase by overtaking Atlanta for sixth in the NFC and the last wild card spot. Safe again.

Not so fast. In the week following, there was suddenly big drama in the Big D. Terrell Owens allegedly accused Romo and Jason Witten of designing their own plays to freeze him out. Reports were also out that Witten and Owens had come close to fist fighting and the receivers had burst down the doors of Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett to demand the football.

There was trouble brewing in Dallas, and with these kinds of distractions, there was no way the Cowboys would beat the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

Until they did.

The Cowboys, after a convincing win versus New York were the new (again) popular dark-horse pick for the Super Bowl. They were hot, they had things turned around, and they were finally on the road to success.

Maybe, just maybe, this team was headed for the Super Bowl. And it would all start with a win over the Baltimore Ravens to close out Texas Stadium.


After the Ravens landed two big hits late in the game, 77- and 82-yard touchdown runs, the Cowboys lay black-eyed and bloody and were out for the count. After all the expectations, all the ups and downs, twists and turns, the Cowboys were done. Finished. Over.

This team was dead in the water.

Until the next day of course. On Sunday, San Diego once again helped to bailout the Dallas Cowboys with a 41-24 beatdown on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Washington Redskins further helped the issue when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 10-3.

The Cowboys once again control their own destiny. With a win in Philadelphia next week, the Cowboys can clinch a wild card playoff spot. If and when that happens, who knows what the Cowboys future will hold.

They could do their best New York Giants impersonation and tear through the playoffs in route to a sixth Super Bowl Championship, or they could once again be one-and-done.

One thing is for sure though. Nobody knows what tomorrow holds. Not you, not I, not the tarot card reader in the beatdown shack you pass every day on your way to work. In this crazy world we all love to call the NFL, anything is possible, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.