Rarely do games in October carry the weight of playoff like pressure. Building up a game to "must win" status is sometimes cliche, and players rarely, if ever buy in. But thanks to an unforgiving schedule, and mediocre play, that's exactly what today's game against the 4-1 Atlanta Falcons has become for the Dallas Cowboys.
Wade's bunch has entered the sixth game of the season with more questions than answers: why did they need overtime to beat Kansas City? Where's Jason Witten in the red zone? How healthy is Demarcus Ware? Is this a playoff caliber team? Is the talent overrated? Why so many stupid penalties?
The Cowboys can do themselves a huge favor today, beating a good team, and answering a lot of the questions and critics.
According to Tony Romo, the team had a great competitive week of practice. According to Wade Phillips, this team is ready to emerge. And according to everyone else with in the walls of Valley Ranch, the Cowboys believe this team is closer than the rest of think.
Give one thing to the Cowboys, they play for all four quarters. And they could easily be 5-0. But every time someone throws out that stat, I'm reminded that the combined record of the team's they've beaten this year is 3-14.
It's a touchy week here at Cowboys Stadium. Win, and the Cowboys could catapult to 5-2 with the Seahawks coming to town next week. Lose, and it'll be 2008 all over again.
Things to watch:
- Is Miles Austin ready to be a real threat?
- With a healthy compliment of rb's, it'll be interesting to see how Jason Garrett spits the carries
- Felix Jones is playing with a knee brace. How much will he be affected?
- Jason Witten has been ineffective in the red zone. That changes today.
- Matt Ryan hasn't been sacked since the third quarter of week one. That also changes today.
My fearless homer prediction;
Cowboys 23 Falcons 20