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Mick Shots: Chances Of Winning The East Dwindling


FRISCO, Texas – Take II.

Last week with three games remaining we went over all the different tiebreakers if the Cowboys and Eagles won out and tied for first place in the NFC East. Needed to go all the way to the fifth scenario to break the tie the Eagles would narrowly win.

Well, after the Cowboys were beaten 22-20 at Miami and the Eagles snuck by the Giants 33-25, let's simplify what must happen within reason for the 10-5 Cowboys to win the NFC East title though most believing the 11-4 Eagles repeating as champs is a foregone conclusion.

First and foremost, the Cowboys for sure must win out, beat the 11-4 NFC North Division champion Detroit Lions Saturday night and then go on the road – oh no – and beat the 4-11 Washington Commanders. If that's to happen, the Cowboys would finish 8-0 at home after compiling an 8-1 home record last year. This would be just the third time the Cowboys have gone 8-0 at home, along with the 1980 and 1981 teams.

Also, the win at Washington would improve their road record to 4-5 and mean the Cowboys would break a two-game road losing streak and head into the playoffs with a two-game winning streak.

All that is on the Cowboys then.

But once again, for the third time during this final stretch of games the Cowboys will need a little help from their friends if indeed they hold up their end of the bargain. They would need help, and ideally with the Giants beating the Eagles in the season's finale. That would forge a 12-5 tie for first place in the NFC East and since the Cowboys and Eagles split their two-game series, the Cowboys would win the division title based on a better NFC East record, 5-1 to the Eagles 4-2, the two teams then losing to each other and then the Eagles dropping the one more game at the hands of the Giants.

But all this contingent on this second take.

  • Tyron Oh Tyron: The Cowboys have their fingers crossed starting and future Hall of Fame left tackle Tyron Smith will be ready to go Saturday night against the Lions. Now Tyron has not practiced these past two days, listed out with a back, and as head coach Mike McCarthy said his availability will depend on him being able to go through the Friday practice. But when listening intently to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan, Dr. Jerry seemed somewhat hopeful Tyron will be able to play after missing the Miami game Sunday. "Hopefully Tyron will come on around,"Jerry said. "We injected him last week and that usually works. Hopefully we can have him because he is a huge difference maker, Tyron
    " That procedure usually helps calm down back spasms Tyron previously has experienced. This would be huge if he can play. Because not only did backup starter Chuma Edoga struggle against the Dolphins, he's on the injury report Wednesday for the team's lone full practice of the week as limited with a toe. Said CeeDee Lamb about missing Tyron in the game, "Obviously, you have a Hall of Famer Tyron Smith not being there. He's huge, a huge part of this offense, and we definitely miss him out there."
  • And Now: We know a little more why the Cowboys decided to activate second-year tackle Matt Waletzko off IR-Return on Wednesday. Not only to prevent losing him on IR for the rest of the season since his 21-day return to practice window was closing but also possibly for depth purposes if Edoga can't go. To make room for Waletzko the Cowboys released linebacker Rashaan Evans, the veteran only playing seven snaps the last four games.
  • Mad Man: Cowboys running back Tony Pollard still is steamed over the Cowboys losing the ball on the Miami one-yard line with the fumbled exchange. Not mad at rookie fullback Hunter Luepke who appeared surprised that QB Dak Prescott was actually giving him the ball as he continued to drive for the goal line apparently not knowing on that first-and-goal play from the Miami 1the ball was on the ground. Nope, but at himself. The Cowboys were second and 1 at the Miami 2 when Pollard took a handoff and cut inside instead of using his speed to go around the edge for a touchdown. "I didn't feel like (Luepke) was to blame for sure. I should have gotten in the play before. Should have kept going to the outside," and concluded by saying, I was mad about it."
  • Lions Roar: Not only have the Lions clinched their first division title at 11-4 since the 1993 season when they were in the NFC Central then, but winning those 11 games is another milestone, having previously done so only three other times in Detroit history: 1962 in a 14-games season, 1991 when eliminating the Cowboys in the second round of the playoffs and again in 2014 when the Cowboys eliminated the Lions in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Leftovers: With two more field goals Sunday, rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey stretches his streak to 33 consecutively made field goals to start a career, but also continues to lead the NFL with 141points scored, also a Cowboys single season record . . . Homebody Cowboys are averaging 39.9 points in their seven home games, the third highest scoring average since the 1970 NFL merger behind just the 2011 Saints (41.1) and Mike McCarthy's 2011 Packers (40.1) . . . Another test for this Cowboys 19th-ranked defense against the run since Detroit ranks third in rushing offense.

And we will go to owner Jerry Jones for the last word, being as politically correct as possible trying to explain why Micah Parsons, leading the NFL with 85 QB pressures, has possibly gone 38 consecutive quarters without drawing a holding call when its pretty darn obvious offensive linemen are grabbing on for dear life yet the Lionbacker still ranking tied for the third most sacks with 13.

"I don't think the intent is to take a player of his skill and limit him," Jones said on his 105.3 radio segment. "One of the judgment issues here is they want a holding penalty within a certain range for holding. What does that mean? Well, that means they won't call a holding penalty usually if they don't think the player would have gotten to the quarterback. Now think about that a minute. That's judgment we still have in officiating.

"If they think he wouldn't have gotten there that doesn't work for Parsons because he's about to get there all the time, almost from the snap of the ball. That sounds simplistic but that's a fact. And he does so much finishing, so anything limiting should be a hold."

Regardless if it's with one hand, two hands, hands to the face or even the chop block I detected in the Miami game.

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