Beating a Team Three Times in One Season Is Easier Done Than Said

WesAnalyst IJanuary 4, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Running back Marion Barber #24 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

All week, you will hear the self-proclaimed experts tell you it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season.

They will sit in their fancy studios and use that logic to explain why the Eagles are going to beat Dallas next weekend.

Clearly, these pundits of prognostication do not have access to the Internet. If they did, they could do some research and realize that since the NFL merger in 1970, the team that won the previous two meetings against its divisional rival has a 12-7 record.

This situation occurred last year when the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship.

The Steelers got the best of their divisional foe twice in the regular season by a combined seven points. With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, the Steelers completed the trifecta and won 23-14.

Yet for some reason, everyone is going to talk about the difficulty of beating a team three times in one year.

Why is it so difficult to complete the sweep? Take last year, for example.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Pittsburgh proved twice they were the better team. They proved it at their place and on the road. So why did people think things were going to be different in the third meeting? The better team typically wins in the NFL, and the 12-7 record that accompanies this situation proves that to be the case.

Imagine if the Minnesota Vikings had to play the Detroit Lions for a third time this year. Would people be talking about the daunting task of Minnesota knocking off an inferior opponent for a third time?

I know, I know. These are playoff teams, and the Lions are the furthest thing from that. But that's not the point. The point is that if you beat an opponent twice, you have proven your opponent to be inferior. 

Dallas showed everyone they are the better team in both meetings against the Eagles. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 20-16 in Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football at the Linc. They got the best of the Birds once again in the regular season finale 24-0 in Jerry World.

The only interesting piece of information being left out so far is the fact that Dallas has been in this spot twice, and they lost both times.

Back in 1998, when the Arizona Cardinals were in the NFC East, Dallas won both encounters and then they lost at home in the playoffs.

In 2007, the Cowboys tried to complete the three-game sweep against the New York Giants and, once again, they failed at home.

Somehow, teams outside of Dallas have a .706 winning percentage when attempting to beat a team for the third time in one season, yet the Cowboys are 0-2.

That stat puts you right back at the beginning, but it definitely sheds some light on anyone who tries to predict next week’s winner.

It should remind you that when someone says, "The Eagles are going to win because it is too tough to beat a team three times in one year," make sure you ignore everything else they are saying.

To base a prediction on a game based on something a person believes to be true, even though we now know it is not, shows a lack of research and diminishes one's credibility.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!