Much has been said about the Cowboys not being able to win in December, and with the Cowboys having played their final December game of the 2009 season last weekend against the Redskins, they come out with a 2-2 record. Not that 2 and 2 is great, but breaking even is better than a losing record. Probably the most important part of that 2 and 2 record, however, is that Tony Romo has played lights out all December and can not be blamed for the first two losses of the month.
Now comes the first game of January, the Cowboys have clinched a playoff berth and a win against the Philadelphia Eagles will give them the NFC East division title. This could easily be the biggest game of the season for the Cowboys, and just like two weeks ago against the Saints the experts aren’t giving the Cowboys a lot of chance in this game, and for only one reason, past trends.
Trends however in the NFL, at least as far as game play goes, is the least effective way to determine how good a team is going to do. It was only a few years ago St Louis was one of the hottest teams in the NFL, then just like that they became one of the worst. It was just a few years ago Peyton Manning couldn’t win a big game, and then one day he not only wins a Super Bowl but he becomes the Super Bowl MVP. The only thing it takes to ruin a trend is to break it, and so far the Cowboys have done that.
This past season, heading into December, Tony Romo was viewed as a Quarterback who could light up the score board and fill up a stat sheet in every month but come December, he would become Tony No More. Last season that was true though, as Tony Romo averaged just 220 yards a game in December, threw just 5 Touchdowns to 6 interceptions. This season however, Romo has thrown for 1239 yards in the month of December, averaged 309 yards a game has thrown just 1 interception to 4 touchdown passes. A trend, at least for this season, has been broken.
Now come in the Eagles, despite the fact that the Cowboys beat the Eagles and controlled their high flying, deep threat offense in the first game, at the Linc in fact, the Cowboys are considered the underdog playing at home. Their is that recent memory of the Eagles closing out the Cowboys season with a 44-6 win that was never even close, but how much relevance does last year actually have?
The Cowboys need to come out one more time in the regular season, and silence the pundits, by beating the Eagles and playing strong on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys are in the playoffs and they will have to prove something there as well, but first they need to worry about this week and breaking one more trend of giving up during the last game of the season. This Cowboys team, some are calling smoke and mirrors, but I believe this team is as legit as they come. They still have to prove it though, and that’s why Sunday’s game is really important.