With their playoff fate basically locked up, barring a Packers-Lions tie or some other pretty improbable things, it'd be easy for the Dallas Cowboys to rest some folks next week when they end the regular season in Washington D.C.
But the more you think about the upcoming regular-season finale, the more it becomes evident they shouldn't do that.
Now don't get me wrong, guys like Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray shouldn't be playing until the final gun on Sunday night, even if the game calls for it. But they shouldn't be in street clothes, either.
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I don't have concrete numbers to throw at you, but it's pretty clear it never helps teams to sit star players in Week 17. One piece of evidence for you would be the high number of Wild Card teams that have made deep postseason runs in recent years, and even ones that have won Super Bowls. A lot of teams with first-round byes have even felt the hurt of breaking rhythm and losing in the Conference Championship round.
So here's a plan, use Sunday's game the same way you'd use a preseason game. Play Romo and Murray for a few series, let them get their feet wet and continue their routine, then get them out and let them get a much deserved break.