Dallas Cowboys well positioned despite losing Philadelphia Eagles: Silver (and blue) lining?


From playing for No. 1 in the NFC to No. 3 in the NFC East, Sunday night’s visit to City of Brotherly Love proved disappointing for the Dallas Cowboys.

But even with the standings plummeting in what appears to be a tight and competitive conference playoff race, the Cowboys (4-2) must be loving their position after six games.

For starters, the division is no longer the NFC less. Three Eastern teams could make the playoffs. The Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) and New York Giants (5-1) are currently ahead of Dallas.

Going blow for blow with the NFL-leading Eagles, especially after falling behind 20-0, with a backup quarterback is cause for optimism. Cooper Rush, despite having three picks, allowed the Cowboys to score within a point in the fourth quarter.

“There’s always value when someone breaks your jawbone and you defend yourself and have a chance to win the game, absolutely,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s what this league is for. Frankly, you can’t get where you want to go without going through it.

Dallas’ defense was solid in the 26-17 loss, doing its best to overcome those three turnovers. Three Philadelphia drives have covered 44 yards or less.

That the Eagles were the first opponent to eclipse 20 points against Dallas this season is telling. If the Cowboys can continue to get maximum effort and execution from Micah Parsons and Co., as well as limit turnovers, Dallas should be in most games.

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The schedule, despite being the ninth toughest remaining according to Tankathon.com, is winding down in the coming weeks. The Cowboys have Detroit (1-4) and Chicago (2-4) in successive weeks ahead. Two wins for a 6-2 record at the (former) halfway point of a regular season.

And, of course, there’s Dak Prescott, who points to the Lions at AT&T Stadium on Sunday for his return. The Rush run was better than expected, but the Cowboys can’t get where they want to go without Prescott behind center.

“I never really doubted the team wouldn’t do what they did,” Prescott said. “We are very proud of this team – the defense and I know what Cooper is capable of. Obviously, I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to be with the guys for the last five weeks or so. I’m excited to move forward and glad we’re in the position we’re in.


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