Becoming the first team to clinch a playoff birth, the Dallas Cowboys continue to eat. With the Giants up next, consider these 11 wrong predictions.
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Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks on prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Vikings 17-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
If there’s one thing to remember about the year 2016, it’s this: predictions mean nothing. Let’s see here…
A) The Golden State Warriors dropped a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won their first NBA Championship.
B) The Chicago Cubs broke the curse, ending a 108-year World Series drought.
C) Donald Trump was elected president.
D) The Dallas Cowboys boot the NFL season with a 11-1 record, becoming the first franchise to earn a playoff berth.
So, tell me, in what universe did you predict these four things? I didn’t. This has been an odd, wacky, and unpredictable year.
Having said that, there’s been a lot of predictions about the Dallas Cowboys that turned out to be flat-out wrong. Well, at least in my weekly predictions, I’m shooting a 11-1 record when picking the Cowboys games.
With America’s Team heading off to New York to get some revenge, I thought this would be a great opportunity to write out some predictions that turned out to be false. Not a bad time to reflect if you ask me: Week 1 football started with a loss to the Giants and Week 14 will be bookended by the same team.
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates a first down during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Vikings 17-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Cowboys said Zeke’s name. I was wrong. He is every ounce as good as people said he was.
He has become the best defender for the defense. Currently, he leads the NFL in Pro Bowl voting (Dak Prescott is just behind him). MVP talk is a reality. Offensive rookie of the year is a lock.
Oh, and the path to the Super Bowl in Houston is clear for take off, thanks to number 21.
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2. AT&T Stadium is back to blue and wait for it, loud!
Funny what some wins and a pair of rookies could do for a team. Remember when AT&T Stadium was colored red in 2014 when the San Francisco 49ers came to town?
That’s not a problem right now. Since opening the digs in 2009, Jerry’s World had a home identity problem. Season ticket holders should be happy now.
If the Cowboys can steal a win from New York this Sunday night, their 12-1 record will lock up the NFC East race. Still, if the team can secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, AT&T Stadium will truly be home for the Cowboys.
Who would have predicted that this stadium could get loud — for the home team that is.
Sep 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former player George Teague carries an American Flag on to the field before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. New York won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
3. America’s Team becomes America’s Team again
Anyone else notice how NFL Network is covering the Cowboys lately? Lots of Dallas Cowboys content.
The Dallas Cowboys will always be America’s Team. That won’t change. But deep down, you want the team to earn the title. And the only way to do that is to another Super Bowl title.
With the Cowboys and Buccaneers game flexed into Sunday Night Football next week, the networks have spoken. The Dallas Cowboys are winning and this matters to America — whether you love or hate them, people are tuning in.
The Boys match against the Redskins on Thanksgiving was the highest-rated regular season game for the Fox Network. The Steelers and Cowboys game was another big draw for the network. The Cowboys and Vikings game drew a record for Thursday Night Football.
It seems, to me a least, when the Cowboys are good, ratings for the NFL are good as well.
Now, about ending that 20-year plus Super Bowl drought already…
Oct 30, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett yells from the sidelines during the third quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Give the head coach some credit. They say winning in the NFL isn’t an easy thing to do. Yet, the Cowboys are 11-1.
After coaching his 100th game, Garrett has finally arrived.
We got Garrett wrong. The coach has earned his job. 2014 wasn’t an accident. Neither was his small confrontation with wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Thanksgiving.
Usually thought of as a nice coach and positive leader, it was interesting to see the coach offer Jackson some not so nice words after the wide-out engaged in extra curricular activity with another Cowboy.
I loved how Garrett defended his players. Yes, he claps a lot. Yes, he probably does it at the dinner table, or before he inhales an In and Out Burger. But he also stands up for his players.
Who wouldn’t want to give his all for that type of coach.
Nov 20, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Tony Romo (9) warmup before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
7. Tony Romo strikes lightning again
I just thought there would be one final run. There still might be one, who knows. Maybe in another timeline Romo survived the third play of the third preseason game. But in this timeline, he did not.
Enter Dak Prescott.
2016 was supposed to look a lot like 2014. Only the quarterback feature role doesn’t belong to Romo. It’s been a weird year. Lightning did indeed strike, it just didn’t strike Romo.
The Cowboys struck lightning twice at the quarterback spot. Once in 2003 with Romo, and 13 years later with Prescott.
Many might say Romo would have been 12-0 with this Cowboys team. To that, I say they are 11-1 with Dak Attack, and that reality is fine too.
8. A 9-7 record is good enough to claim the NFC East in 2016
Yeah. About the NFC East race….
I thought taking 10 games in 2016 would take the division, or at the very least, put the Cowboys in the playoffs with a Wild Card ticket. The NFC East has proven to be one of the toughest divisions in football.
We’ll see how the Giants and Cowboys shake things up this week, but predicting that a 9-7 team would win this division was a wrong one.
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates following the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Vikings 17-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
9. The Cowboys clinch a playoff berth by Week 13
Thanks to another Washington Redskins loss, the Cowboys are in the tournament no matter what happens from here on out.
Back in August, things for the Dallas Cowboys weren’t looking all too great. Playing all the way until the end of December was expected.
Now, the Cowboys have to “entertain” the possibilities of resting some starters before the playoffs.
Rest? Playoffs? Playoffs? Did you say playoffs?
10. The AFC North would be a problem
Huh. Let’s see here. A defensive juggernaut. An explosive offense. A Bengals team who made the playoffs just a year ago.
Browns. Bengals. Ravens. Steelers.
Won. Won. Won. Won. 4-0.
No problem there. I don’t know doubt you, but I had the Cowboys going 2-2, realistically, in that division.
The Vikings were 5-0 at one point. The Eagles have a stingy defense; the team took Prescott into overtime. The Steelers cornered the Cowboys. The Bengals had the defensive front to cause trouble at the QB spot. The Ravens had the best defense.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t hand one over to a rookie, especially at the historic Lambeau Field.