COLIN COWHERD: There's an old saying in football. It's called a burn the tape game. And in that sometimes you just-- there's an injury. There's a problem. There's an issue. Who knows. It's a burn the tape game. It doesn't identify who you are. It doesn't define what kind of team you have. Yesterday was that for the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta Falcons fans, the biggest bandwagon fans in the world. This morning they're like, oh we're great. Really? Your next game is Monday Night Football in Seattle. It'll be raining sideways. They're well rested, they played on Thursday. You'll go back and hide like you always do.
This is a burn your tape game for the Dallas Cowboys. It does not define them. When I saw that Tyron Smith, their left tackle, the best left tackle in football was a late scratch with no Ezekiel Elliott. I said, boys in trouble. And they were. And then when they lost Sean Lee, trailing 7-3, I said, oh, oh, they're in real trouble. From that point on, it was 24-0 Atlanta. It is a burn the tape game. They had the best left tackle in football out. The best running back in the league out. And Sean Lee is incredibly valuable for that team.
Remember there is a difference between great and valuable. JJ Watt is great. But Houston without him, 9 and 7. Year before, Houston with him, 9 and 7. You want to know what valuable is? Valuable is your iPhone. OK. Your iPhone, your alarm, your Rolodex, your calendar, your camera, your GPS, your wallet, your computer. A Rolex watch is great. It ain't that valuable. The iPhone is valuable. A Maserati is great. It's not that valuable. It's a rich guy second, third, or fourth car. Look at the numbers on Sean Lee. He and Luke Kuechly, you can argue, are the most valuable players in the NFL.
The Cowboys with him, and the Cowboys without him. They give up a yard and a half per play without him. They're not the same team. Their sack percentage doubles. No Zeke. No Tyrone Smith. No Sean Lee. Burn the tape. Don't take much from that. In games he's finished this year, they're 5 and 1. In games he hasn't finished, their 0 and 3. This is not a shot at the Atlanta. Atlanta goes to Seattle that played on Thursday. It'll be in Seattle. Matty Ice with a pass rush. Will be Matty Ice, Andy Dalton in a dome. Not Aaron Rodgers. This is no shot at Atlanta. I like them. Don't love him. But don't take too much of this Dallas game. It simply doesn't mean that much.