Feel that? No it’s not another dramatic Metroplex temperature change from 26 to 86 to 56. It’s also the Cowboys, crawling out of bed this morning for the first time in 2013 without at least a share of the NFC East lead.
The Eagles are 6-5 after Sunday’s survival of a Redskins’ comeback thwarted by a Robert Griffin III give-up pass that would get Tony Romo run out of town. And, don’t look now, the Giants are officially zombies, back from the dead with four consecutive wins after starting the season 0-6.
I’m not convinced of the Giants. And I am convinced that the Cowboys and Eagles will play for the NFC East championship on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium. Here’s why:
Lots of folks are crowing, “Here come the Giants!,” suggesting they’re about to go on another magical run. But look at their winning streak. They’ve defeated quarterbacks named Josh Freeman (Vikings), Matt Barkley (Eagles), Terrelle Pryor (Raiders) and Scott Tolzien (Packers). They’re not back, they’re only temporarily scheduling lucky.
As for the Eagles, I see them entering the season finale in Arlington at 9-6. That’s 3-1 against the Cardinals, Lions, Vikings and Bears, and that’s doable. The Cowboys? All they have to do to make Dec. 29 their third consecutive NFC East Championship Game is get to that point at 8-7. They already have a win in Philadelphia and, with a season sweep of the Eagles, would win the division based on head-to-head tiebreaker despite each having 9-7 records.
Now, how do the Cowboys go 3-2 until then to make that season-ender a winner-take-all? They, um, have to win a road game. To win three of five the Cowboys can beat the Raiders on Thanksgiving and the co-mediocre Packers in Arlington on Dec. 15. But to get to eight wins they must beat the Giants, Bears or Redskins on the road. The simplest path would be a win in Washington, where the Redskins will be long out of the playoff picture.
But if that’s their key road win, that would force Dallas to win its last three games of the season. And we all know how the Cowboys have played in December.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.