At one end of the NFL spectrum sit the New York Giants, football’s model for championships and winning over the past few years. On the other end sit their two NFC East counterparts, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, both with unflattering records. The two teams prepare for a showdown on Sunday, with the loser likely out of the playoff race. This begs the question: Of the two teams that have become gloriously bad at losing, who will win?
For the Cowboys, it’s always something. One week, the offensive line won’t play well. Another week, penalties, mistakes or Jason Garrett’s play-calling lead to a loss. And we can’t forget about a five-interception game by Tony Romo that’s always just lurking around the corner.
This team just cannot play a complete game. Their stingy defense has kept them in games, but the once-explosive offense has done nothing but struggle. It’s mind-blowing a team with so much talent and potential continuously makes these gaffes. They stay in games against good teams and always wind up losing in the end. As a Cowboys fan, I say it’s like watching a movie over and over. It’s the same script every time.
The game against the Giants last week was a microcosm of their whole season. Play terrible, turn the ball over, make a comeback, get everyone’s hopes up and lose. It really makes you wonder whether or not they can beat a good team.
For the Eagles, it’s been a whole different nightmare. Turnovers by Michael Vick have been the main story, completely keeping Philly out of some games. Some people thought that at 3-1, the Eagle could keep winning despite all that, but it’s clearly not true.
There’s also the hyped up defense, which has played very flat. Jason Babin has only two and a half sacks, while former shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha seems to get torched by opposing wide receivers every week.
Finally, there’s the brain of the operation, head coach Andy Reid. The man can be the best coach of the NFL six days a week, but unfortunately for the Eagles, that doesn’t include Sunday.
While neither of these teams is firmly in the playoff race, the loser of the game will certainly be toast. The second wild card spot is wide open, with question mark teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings fighting for the spot. The Eagles or Cowboys could make a run at it, but they have to get back to winning.
The thought of my team’s season being over barely halfway through the season is a scary one. That’s why I’m sort of dreading 4:25 p.m. on Sunday in Philadelphia. And I know I’m not alone. Cowboys and Eagles fans both feel the same way.