The Dallas Cowboys had entered the 2019 season with plenty of buzz around the franchise with the hope that they would become serious Super Bowl contenders. However, the team has continued to struggle, falling towards their playoff position being in jeopardy heading into the final weeks of the regular season. With all that in mind, here’s why the Cowboys and head coach Jason Garrett could easily miss out on the postseason entirely.
Cowboys have a tough remaining schedule
Before truly diving into all of this, it should be pointed out that Dallas possesses one of the most talented teams in the league on both sides of the ball. However, the team has continually ended up on the short end of the stick on what has become nearly a weekly basis.
The Cowboys’ inconsistent play will be tested with their remaining schedule that features several teams still hoping to squeeze into the playoff picture. Minus the cakewalk season-finale matchup against the Washington Redskins, the next four games will be challenging facing the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.
Although the last three teams have had their struggles offensively, each has picked up their play on the other side of the ball. Two of these matchups (Bears and Eagles) will be on the road, while they haven’t had great success at home holding a 3-2 record.
It hasn’t helped that they have struggled against good teams this year, holding a 6-1 against opponents at or under a .500 record and 0-4 against teams over .500. All of that equates to potentially much trouble ahead down the stretch of this season.
Cowboys’ offense stuck in reverse
Dallas has put together a talented group on the offensive side of the ball that features a few Pro Bowlers along the offensive line. The team also has elite talent at the skilled-position with running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, and not to mention a viable quarterback in Dak Prescott.
All of that hasn’t produced a significant amount of success on the field offensively as of late. Dallas has shown out against some of the weaker teams in the league, notching more 30 points against opponents holding a below .500 record. However, the Cowboys are producing just 17.8 points per contest in their five losses this season.
There has been nowhere near the same offensive production against formidable teams beyond the play that Prescott has pushed forward. Elliott has remained one of the more productive running backs in the league, but he has been off his usual pace. That has been the case, especially against strong opponents as he has tallied fewer than 65 rushing yards in three of the Cowboys’ losses.
With matchups ahead against four formidable opponents, it’s hard to trust that they will break that trend.
Eagles hold a favorable remaining schedule
The Philadelphia Eagles have largely been a disappointment in the 2019 season, falling well short of those expectations of them being among the top teams in the league.
Part of these struggles have been due to notable injuries throughout the roster, but the Eagles are still in play for possible playoff contention trailing the Cowboys by just one game for the NFC East lead. Philadelphia’s path to that goal may play in their favor with a highly favorable remaining regular-schedule ahead.
Outside of facing the Cowboys just one more time, the Eagles face the Redskins, New York Giants (twice), and Miami Dolphins. These teams have all combined for just six wins through the first 12 weeks of the season.
The Eagles may have had their shortcomings, especially with Carson Wentz’s play, but it’s more than reasonable to believe that they could sweep their last five games due to the quality of the opponent that they are facing. The only real challenge should come against Dallas.
Given all of these factors at play, it may push the Cowboys towards a disastrous end to their rocky 2019 season.
(For an opposing take, check out Dave Consolazio’s article on why the Cowboys will make the playoffs this season.)