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Fri., Oct. 24, 2014 2:00 PM CDT
Mailbag: Your Take On The Tough Thanksgiving Stretch?
EASTCHESTER , NY
I always thought the purpose of playing on Thanksgiving and having two games in five days was the 10-day break before the next game. This year the NFL has the Cowboys playing a road game on Thursday night after Thanksgiving? Really?
Nick:Well, then you’re forgetting the 10-day break they have after the Bears game then. Either way they get their 10 days. I think the bigger issue that seems to be popping up around the building a lot is the game before Thanksgiving. The Cowboys play a road night game at the Giants and will probably get home around 4 am on Monday and have to play three days later. The Eagles get the Titans at home that weekend before traveling for the game. I guess the NFL is trying to make it even but that seems a little extreme.
David: Three games in 12 days is a pretty brutal stretch no matter how you slice it, but it’s hardly without precedent. The Cowboys were faced with this same problem in 2007, with the Redskins on Nov. 18, the Jets on Nov. 22 and the Packers on Nov. 29. Granted, all three of those games were at home, but it’s still a tall order for any team. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the modern NFL for you. The silver lining is three guaranteed national broadcasts – Sunday Night Football, Thanksgiving Day and Thursday Night Football.
I know that it bears repeating that we should always get off to a good start. But after looking at the schedule, it is more important this year than in the past. Your thoughts?
Nick: I agree with you. Now we never know who’s going to be really good or who might struggle. Last year, no one really thought the Chiefs would be as good as they were and on the flip side, the Week 16 game with Washington was supposed to be for playoff implications and it was, but not for both teams. What we do know is road, night games in the cold are usually tough and they’ll have plenty of that down the stretch.
David: I think you’re right, and it has absolutely nothing to do with who the opponents are. Forget the teams on the schedule, because there’s no way to accurately predict who will be good and who will be bad by December. Here’s what matters: the Cowboys play six of their first nine games at home. After the Arizona game on Nov. 2, Dallas plays just two more home games in the final seven weeks of the season. Everyone knows how hard it is to win on the road in the NFL, especially late in the season. The Cowboys would be doing themselves a big favor to start strong.