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16) Can The Cowboys Reverse Their End Of Season Struggles?

Posted Jul 5, 2013


IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 19 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today’s question centers on a receiver with past injury concerns.

16) Will The Cowboys Perform Better In The Last Game Of The Year?  

Following a 14-13 victory against Philadelphia in the final game of the regular season in 2010, Game 16 hasn’t been so kind to the Cowboys the last couple years.

The Cowboys have entered Week 16 at 8-6 each of the last two seasons with a chance at making the playoffs, only to end the year at 8-8 while watching the postseason at home.

The losses in the 16th and final game of the season far outweighed those in the game prior, for obvious reasons. The Giants won the division in 2011 at just 9-7, and a loss to the Redskins on the road sent Washington to the postseason last year.

The late-season collapses followed a nice winning streak in both cases, before the Cowboys ran out of steam down the stretch. In 2011, the Cowboys won four straight games before dropping four of their final five contests.

Last season, injuries eventually caught up to the Cowboys. The final two losses of the season followed a three-game winning streak. Even had the Cowboys beaten the Redskins in the final game to make the playoffs, the starting receiving corps was depleted.

If the Cowboys can stay or get relatively healthy late in the year, that’ll obviously help their chances of reversing their fate. They’ll once again be facing division foes late in the season, with a Week 16 contest at Washington, followed by a home game against Philadelphia to end the year.

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let’s take a closer look at the number 16:

  • The coldest regular season game the Cowboys ever played in was a 16-degree contest at St. Louis in 1963. The Cowboys won, 28-24.
  • Calvin Hill recorded 16 career 100-yard rushing games, third most in Cowboys history.
  • DeMarco Murray claimed earlier in the offseason that he’ll play all 16 games this year. He hasn’t played in more than 13 games in a season thus far in his young career.
  • The No. 16 has been seldom used by Cowboys players. Before receiver Tim Benford wore it, it belonged to Jesse Holley beginning in 2010. There was a six-year span nobody wore the number, dating back to when Vinny Testaverde had it in 2004. Before that, it was Ryan Leaf in 2001.
  • The Cowboys’ 16-10 victory in Week 3 against Tampa Bay was costly for the defense, as it marked the end of Barry Church’s season. A few weeks later, Sean Lee would also be lost for the year.
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