10. Before the season I predicted this team would go 6-10. At 12-4, I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong. But, seriously, the Cowboys trailed the 49ers 28-3 in halftime of the season opener back on Sept. 7. If I told you then that one of those teams would miss playoffs and that one of those coaches would be fired, how many of y’all would’ve guessed “San Francisco” and “Jim Harbaugh”? Liars.
9. Cowboys improved to 3-12 in their last 15 season finales. If there’s a negative trend, good bet that the Cowboys have smashed it this season.
8. Okay, let’s nitpick. What the what were the starters doing still playing in the fourth quarter? The reward was a meaningless win that didn’t improve their playoff position. The risk, of course, was getting Tony Romo or DeMarco Murray or Dez Bryant injured and thus ruining their playoff chances. Jason Garrett will get votes for NFL Coach of the Year, but he would’ve lost all consideration had an injury inexplicably occurred.
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7. Nitpicking, part 2. I don’t get Garrett pulling out the onside kick in a blowout win at Washington. Back in October when the Cowboys needed a spark in that ugly home loss to the Redskins? Absolutely. With a 13-point lead in a meaningless regular-season finale? Nope. If anything, now Garrett can’t surprise the Lions next week in the playoff game because, well, Detroit has seen it, knows it’s an option and will be prepared for it.
6. Sorry, but I can’t help but be giddy about the demise of RG3. Remember in 2012 when he torched the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and was going to haunt them for a decade? These days he can’t outrun Nick Hayden, and Bruce Carter routinely turns his passes into interceptions. And to think, Washington gave up three first-round draft choices and a second-rounder for the right to draft a below-average quarterback.
5. Answer: Montana. Brady. Warner. Romo. Question: Who are the only NFL quarterbacks to go 8-0 on the road?
4. Since that deflating loss to the Eagles on Thanksgiving the Cowboys have played four games. In those games they’ve jumped to leads of 35-7, 21-0, 42-0 and 27-7. Not bad for a team that supposedly sucks in December.
3. By my math these Cowboys are the second-highest scoring road team in NFL history. Dallas averaged 34 points per game away from Arlington in going 8-0 and were held below 30 only once (26 vs. Titans in road opener). Only the 16-0 ’07 Patriots (39 per game) scored more.
2. Pretty cool 40-second span in the second quarter when Murray broke Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing record, followed by Dez breaking Terrell Owens’ single-season touchdown receptions record. Thirty years from now you’ll brag to your kids’ kids about watching that scene play out live. Think about it, Dez’s season is better than any year by any receiver and DeMarco’s season is better than any year by any running back. Happy New Year indeed.
1. You want a December to remember? One that’ll stuff a sock in the critics that try to bring up the “choke” narrative? The Cowboys are 4-0 in December for the first time since 1993. Since the days of Aikman and Emmitt and Irvin. Since the days of winning Super Bowl 28.
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.