Tonight’s pre-season finale is meaningless.
Or is it?
You won’t see Tony Romo or most of the starters in Thursday night’s game against the Broncos at AT&T Stadium. But you should – surprisingly – keep an eye on the scoreboard.
That’s because the Cowboys are a mediocre team with middle-of-the-road talent and little prospects for making the playoffs. And a winless preseason sure wouldn’t help matters.
The Cowboys are 0-3. What exactly would 0-4 mean?
Of the 29 NFL teams that have gone winless in the preseason, only five turned it around in the regular season and made the playoffs. Of those 29, 16 went on to have losing records. I’m not saying pre-season results are a direct predictor of regular-season performance. But history said it’s at least a decent hint of what to expect.
The Cowboys have gone 0-for in exhibitions four times, the last in 2000. Three of those teams finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs. The other team – in ’98 – lost a Wild Card game.
“Well, we play the games to win,” head coach Jason Garrett said in a press conference this week. “There’s no question about that. That’s line one.”
Calling tonight a must-win is obviously ludicrous. But last year the Steelers went 0-4 in August, lost their first four regular-season games and missed the playoffs. Last year’s Super Bowl champion Seahawks? They went 4-0 in the preseason.
The Cowboys are the only NFC team without a pre-season win. Since they’re keeping score and since there is a smidge of historical importance, they might as well go ahead and win. Just to be safe.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.