Can the Dallas Cowboys win the NFC East?

Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett reacts during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Neftali Cruz.

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been able to win a game since Tony Romo went down in week two. Their record is 2-7 and they are slipping further out of playoff contention. It is getting to the point where they need to win the division to get into the playoffs. The NFC East is abysmal, but other teams are ahead of the Cowboys. The New York Giants are leading the way and look poised to take the division. The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins have endured inconsistent play that has deterred them for taking control of the division. Romo will be coming back to face the Miami Dolphins in the next game and they are one game out of the division lead. Can the Cowboys get on a streak or is the season over?

The Cowboys are currently riding a seven-game losing streak and are finding excruciating ways to lose games. Their defense has been playing well by causing turnovers and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but the offense is anemic and cannot make plays when the team absolutely needs them. Matt Cassel has been a slight upgrade, but not enough to win games. Due to the lack of productivity at the quarterback position, the Cowboys have become one dimensional in their offensive attack. The run game has been the lone bright spot of the year due to the tremendous offensive line play and the emergence of Darren McFadden who has clearly won the starting running back spot for the Cowboys. Although defining a clear starter at the running back position for the Cowboys is good news, it makes them predictable and easy to plan for knowing that their one and only strength is running the ball.

The defense hasn’t been bad at all ranking No. 13 overall in total defense. They have had issues with creating turnovers; they only have five interceptions on the season and one fumble recovery. The defensive line is at full strength and has totaled 14 sacks on the year. The pass rush has always been a question mark especially last year in the playoffs where they couldn’t get to a gimpy Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Divisional round. After loading up the defensive line with Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory, the pass rush has actually been a strength for the Cowboys. Games are won as a team with all three phases working together and not one phase carrying the load. The defense is still a work in progress and once the chemistry is created and more talent is added there is no limit to what they can accomplish.

The return of Tony Romo is something to look forward to and definitely will raise the morale tremendously in Dallas. It is clear that Tony Romo is the “x” factor for the Dallas Cowboys. He is the absolute difference maker and the catalyst to the Cowboys’ success. I am not saying it is impossible for the Cowboys to make the playoffs given the current records in the division and in the NFC. The Cowboys can end up winning out, but they will need A LOT of help in the process. There is a little more comfort knowing that a team can control their own fate rather than win and then hope for things to fall the right way. Tanking the season is something no athlete would agree to and I wouldn’t expect the Cowboys to do that, but the question still remains: is it too little too late for the Dallas Cowboys?

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