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Mailbag: Next step a road win vs. quality team?


The Cowboys keep checking off boxes and silencing the doubters, especially after taking down the Eagles. Is the next step now to win a game on the road against a quality opponent? Say, for instance, the Buffalo Bills? Is there anything they'll need to do differently or improve upon to duplicate the same impressive performances they've produced at home? – Roy Walters /Grand Prairie, TX

Nick Eatman: From the looks of things, the Cowboys are probably going to have to win on the road to have the kind of playoff success everyone is hoping for. So yeah, the Cowboys need to become a good road team. Right now, they're 3-3 but they'll get some great challenges with the Bills and Dolphins here in the next 10 days. Obviously, the Cowboys don't have to turn it on until the actual playoff game but from a confidence standpoint, it wouldn't hurt to prove they can go win a game like this. More than anything, they need to show they can run the football and win some games other than airing it out. Who knows, we might get to a game in the playoffs where passing the ball is a huge hurdle and therefore, the Cowboys must rely on the run game. I'd like to see if they're up for that challenge, too.

Patrik: You hit the nail on the head here, Roy. The narrative was once that the Cowboys would only beat bad teams, but then they dropped 41 on the Seahawks. The goal posts then moved and became, "They can't dominate teams that are above .500." And now that they've obliterated the Eagles, it's become, "Well, they can't do it on the road." The latter one is the only one of the three narratives I even care to entertain, because it's valid. The first chance to check that box ended in a narrow five-point loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia. The next chance will be to take the field in Buffalo and defeat the Bills. That would go a long way to checking that box (especially since the Cowboys are 3-3 on the road), but walking into Miami and doing it against the Dolphins the very next week will end all doubts that Dallas is designed to beat anyone, anywhere — with only one final Boogeyman in their way (hi, 49ers).

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