KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 11: Center Rudy Niswanger #64 of the Kansas City Chiefs waits to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadiumin on October 11, 2009 Kansas City, Missouri. The Cowboys defeated the Chiefs 26-20 in overtime. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tony Romo will be okay.
Dez Bryant will be fine.
2-0 would be … great.
The good news continues this week at Valley Ranch, where the quarterback and the receiver dodged serious injuries and are expected to play in Week 2 at the Kansas City Chiefs. Add that to the expected season debuts of defensive end Anthony Spencer and offensive lineman Brian Waters and there’s reason for genuine optimism early in 2013.
Now, consider for a moment what beating the Chiefs would do for morale. And the prospects of a post-season appearance.
Yep, I mentioned it. The playoffs. In September. Why?
Because by beating the Chiefs the Cowboys would start 2-0 and, according to historical franchise odds, have an 87.5-percent chance of making this year’s playoffs.
That’s right, in their 54-season history the Cowboys have started a season 2-0 24 times. And 21 of those times the season ended in the playoffs, including Super Bowl wins in ’71, ’77, ’92 and ’95. Of course – famously – the ’93 Cowboys won the Super Bowl despite starting 0-2 during Emmitt Smith’s contract holdout.
Beating the Chiefs is obviously not a layup. Kansas City smothered the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 and head coach Andy Reid knows the Cowboys’ personnel after all those years in Philadelphia. But if Dallas can win their road opener, the stats and the history suggest they’ll make their first playoff appearance since ’09.
The only years the Cowboys started 2-0 and didn’t make the playoffs?
1961: Went winless the final seven weeks and finished 4-9-1 after quarterback Don Meredith was sidelined with shoulder injury.
1986: Started 6-2 but wilted in the second half after quarterback Danny White suffered a broken wrist.
2008: Needing just one win to clinch a post-season berth, they closed down Texas Stadium with a loss to the Ravens and then were blown out in Philadelphia, 44-6.
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.