The Dallas Cowboys are closing another season on unstable ground, even though they’ve already locked the NFC East title.
The Cowboys will visit division rival Philadelphia in the season finale, but will do so without two of their best players. Linebacker Rookie Micah Parsons and All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith will miss the season finale against the Eagles as both tested positive for COVID-19.
Both players should be available next week for the wild-card game in Dallas. But entering this game with Philly, the Cowboys still technically have a chance (albeit a long one) for the # 1 seed. 2 of the NFC. Dallas needs to manage hers business first beating the Eagles on Saturday night. So sit back, watch and hope for Rams, Cardinals and Buccaneers to lose. Again, it’s a long shot, but some really strange things have happened.
Unfortunately, lackluster like that of the Cowboys offense was recently, this team is used to playing without Smith. He has missed at least three games each year since the 2016 season and was sidelined all but two last season. They are much better off with Smith on the pitch, but have learned to adapt to being without him, due to constant injuries. But Parsons and the defense are a different story.
Parsons became a leader and the most versatile player in defending the Cowboys in just one season. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn deploys Parsons all over the place and lets him use his versatility to influence the game in so many ways. If Micah gets in line on the defensive line or as a linebacker, he will make his presence felt one way or another. With Parsons testing positive for COVID, no one knows how this will affect his future. Some players were hit quite hard, while others were hit only lightly. If Parsons goes back to the forest …card game and is not the usual himself , Dallas will be in hot water no matter who they mate with.
Knowing all this, week 18 in Philadelphia is a huge match for Dallas, as a defeat locks them into the fourth seed, resulting in a rematch with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys just lost to the Cardinals in Week 17, knocking Dallas out of the No. 2 at the conference to 4. Dallas can still move up to third seed, but this one the scenario is much less likely.
This is a great-playing defense in Dallas, and without their greatest playmaker against the Eagles, it could be a long day. Cowboys don’t possess that full defense from the shutdown (no one really does anymore) as they are prone to giving up large yards. This defense of the Cowboys does theirs live on take-away food, And ranks first (Indianapolis) with 33 total takeaways, and 25 of those are INT, which also ranks first in the NFL. Dallas’ revenue differential is +13, ranking third in the league. Jerry JonesCowboys haven’t been dependent on defense that much for a long time.
Parsons led this breakthrough, with Quinn and her defensive scheme. Coaches are tasked with enabling players to be successful on the pitch, and Parsons has taken full advantage of the way Quinn has used her talents this year. Most of the significant contributors to this defense were in Dallas last year when they were historically bad. Parsons pretty much got the defensive rookie of the year award in December. It was even rumored that he had a chance to win the NFL Defensive P.layer of the year premium, too. But with the year TJ Watt is having (21.5 sack) in Pittsburgh, it’s not likely at this point.
Turnover is the name of the game in Dallas right now, and if they are hoping for a long run after the season, they will need this trend to continue through January. This season, the Cowboys are only 1-3 when they fail to catch at least one INT in a match. They are 0-2 when they don’t get an INT or a fumble. Without Parsons causing confusion and chasing opponent QBs, this could be too big an obstacle for the ‘Guys to overcome.