Amy Reese of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Every Friday, we’ll tackle five big questions for the Cowboys going into the weekend’s game.
1. Did Jessica Simpson come out with any other public display of support for the Cowboys this week? Tell me she didn’t. She didn’t. Thankfully, there have been no public sightings of Simpson in any sort of Cowboys merchandise this week. There have only been these photos of Simpson dressed, apparently, as some sort of giant, deformed mirror ball. Thank goodness for that. LEAVE OUR TEAM ALONE, YOU SPARKLY TIKI HARPY.
2. If the Cowboys win, does that make them a playoff lock? Mathematically, of course, the answer is no. But consider the standings and the schedule. If the Cowboys beat the Giants, they’ll be three games ahead of them in the division race. It would also reduce the number of wild card contenders with winning records down to three: Philly, Green Bay, and Atlanta. Atlanta may also drop to .500 this weekend if Philly beats them, and the Cowboys already hold a Wild Card tiebreaker over the Falcons. That would leave just two non-division-leading teams with winning records in the NFC. The playoffs are almost certain to feature Green Bay and the 2nd place finisher in the East as the Wild Card participants. Beat the Giants, and finishing 3rd in the East becomes a very remote possibility for Dallas. Ten wins is a definite playoff spot in the NFC this year. But nine may do it as well. In other words, this game is really freakin’ important.
3. Will Eli Manning play? Yes, and he will start. Manning said his foot injury has had no effect on his recent play, but that’s what all players say. What else is he gonna say? “Oh, it totally bothers me. DON’T HIT IT, ANYONE!” Again, Manning destroyed the Cowboys last time these two teams met, but it could be a whole other story of the rush gets to him and he starts limping around and overthrowing everyone in sight.
4. What if the Cowboys lose? What if they drop to 8-4 and then they get the Chargers and Saints back-to-back? Right at the beginning of December? GAHHHH I DON’T THINK I CAN STAND IT! That’s why this game is particularly crucial. It’ll be hard for Dallas to win the next two games after this one (a split would be a victory), so they have to get that ninth win NOW, so they aren’t scratching and clawing for it in the final weeks of the season.
5. This is the last game the Cowboys will probably ever play in Giants Stadium. What’s your fondest memory of Giants Stadium? Has to be the time I saw Springsteen there, got horribly drunk in the parking lot six hours before the concert began, and then rode home to Manhattan on a bus with my wife, who had to sit in the aisle of the bus to keep from throwing up. That was a good day.