Are the Cowboys headed to a losing record?
Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys could be facing a disappointing 1-2 start if they do not fix the problems that led them to a head-scratching blowout loss against the Seattle Seahawks last week. The loss led many fans and critics to wonder what kind of the team the Cowboys are this year? Although the first weeks of the NFL season always contain a degree of parody, a loss against a sub-par Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team this coming Sunday would create some serious doubt about Dallas’ chances at a playoff run. While a 1-2 start is much better than the dreaded 0-3 start, it would not bode well for a Cowboys’ team that is consistently ripe with talent yet often underachievement.
The Cowboys don’t even need to play an incredible game to get a win against the Bucs. They just need to play to their capability. Tony Romo has had great career numbers against Tampa Bay. Look for him to get back on track this Sunday. Romo struggled mightily at Seattle to get anything going in an offensive effort that was flat at best. Dez Bryant and co. should also have little problems going against Tampa Bay’s secondary which ranks dead last in the NFL in the yards per game category. The Bucs’ run defense is significantly better, but their weakness defending the pass should open up the ground game for DeMarco Murray, who is still on pace for an excellent season.
This week is an important game for the Cowboys’ confidence. If they win handily at home against Tampa Bay, they can dismiss last week’s loss at Seattle as a fluke road game, one they will be happy to put behind them. However, if Dallas falls short to another underdog—this week at home—it would cause an identity crisis in Big D. Tony Romo will start hearing it from the fans, Jerry Jones will be on the sidelines trying to dictate the game, and last year may repeat itself all over again. This is exactly the situation the Cowboys do not want to find themselves in.
History is on the Cowboys’ side this week. They have beaten the Bucs in their last four meetings dating back to 2006. Dallas needs to put an emphasis on their victory this week if they want to be considered an NFC East contender. Anything but a decisive victory will mean that doubts about the team will continue to surface, even if it isn’t a 1-2 start.