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ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Andre Gurode #65 of the Dallas Cowboys jumps on John Phillips #89 after Phillips scores a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Andre Gurode;John Phillips
Every Friday, we’ll tackle five big questions for the Cowboys going into the weekend’s game.
1. If the Cardinals win on Saturday, who gets to host the NFC title game? Dallas. So by Saturday night, we’ll know for sure that the NFC title game will take place either in New Orleans or on the home field or whoever wins Cowboys-Vikings. And I think the Cardinals win that Saints game. Frankly, I have no idea if that’s a good thing. I find the Cardinals to be utterly terrifying.
2. Is Wade Phillips in any danger of losing his job anymore, should the Cowboys fail to advance? No. The Cowboys got out of their playoff slump and won their division. And this team is young enough to make a run for the next few years. Wade isn’t going anywhere.
3. Everyone is picking the Cowboys again. I’M SCARED, and yet, oddly confident. And you should be confident. The reason a lot of people are now seeing the Cowboys as favorites in the NFC is because they have, without question, played the best football of any of the remaining teams left for the past month. There’s something about this defense, with Ratliff patrolling inside and Ware and Spencer flying off the edges… There isn’t another team in the playoffs that can match what the Cowboys’ front seven does up front. Two years ago, the Giants won the Super Bowl thanks in large part to a red-hot defensive front, and this Cowboys unit has the same look to it.
4. What’s the biggest thing I need to worry about? Flags. The Cowboys got flagged a LOT versus the Eagles (14 times for 112 yards, to be precise), but they played so well, and the Eagles played so horribly, that it didn’t end up mattering. It will this week. You can’t go into the Metrodome, commit a zillion penalties, get the crowd all jazzed, and then expect to walk out a victor. If Dallas cuts out the needless mistakes, they win.
5. I CAN’T WAIT! SO EXCITING GAHHHHHHHH!!!WELKFHDWLKFQWLFEKJWFLKJQW!!! I know, my friend. I feel the same way.