Cowboys at Eagles could be fascinating !!!
The Dallas Cowboys have a two game lead in the NFC East. They are also about to enter a challenging home stretch of their schedule with games vs the Redskins, At Minnesota, at the Giants, vs the Buccaneers and Lions, before finally playing the Eagles in Philadelphia.
When they face the Redskins, they will be playing on a short week, having played the Ravens the Sunday before, and then hosting the Redskins on their traditional Thursday Thanksgiving afternoon game.
Could the Cowboys lose a game or two before facing the Eagles at the Linc ? It’s possible. Which could mean that the Cowboys need to win the game for their playoff seeding. It’s also possible that they have home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs locked up. At this writing, their primary competition for home field is the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks play at Tampa Bay, host the Panthers, travel to Green Bay, host the Rams and Cardinals, before ending their season at San Francisco against the 49'ers. Not a particularly daunting schedule, but one where they could win out, as long as they don’t take their opposition lightly. They currently trail the Cowboys by a game and 1/2.
So as for that last game of the season :
The Cowboys will enter the game on a short week, having hosted the Detroit Lions (whom, as of this writing, are fighting for the division and a playoff spot with the Vikings) on Monday Night Football.
If the Cowboys need to win that game, then we get treated to another Dak Prescott vs Carson Wentz battle, this time at the Linc, where the Eagles have performed exceedingly well (Currently undefeated).
If the Cowboys have everything locked up, then things could get fascinating. Would Head Coach Jason Garrett play his starters the entire game, a portion of the game, or give them the week off ?
If Garrett goes to his backups, that would include the quarterback position.
Currently, the backup quarterback is Mark Sanchez. Whether Sanchez is still #2, demoted to #3, or released by that time remains to be seen. But if he is active, could we see Mark Sanchez vs Carson Wentz at the Linc? If Sanchez does play over Tony Romo, what does that say about Romo’s standing on the team? Would Romo accept it ? It’s one thing to be a backup to a scorching hot Prescott that has the team on an amazing roll. It’s quite another to be asked to backup a quarterback that could not beat out Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, or Austin Davis for a starting QB position or a roster spot.
The wild card is Tony Romo. He is getting healthier and practicing more each day. He could be active and in uniform for any of the upcoming games. If the Cowboys do not have anything to play for other then a win, would Garrett start Romo the last game before the playoffs begin? What would happen if Romo played well in that game ? Would Owner Jerry Jones then push Garrett to start Romo in the playoffs over Dak Prescott? Jones had previously stated that one of his biggest disappointments would be if Romo did not win a Super Bowl as quarterback of the Cowboys. There is no doubt that whether Romo would be playing with the starters or backup units, he would be playing with high energy and a vengeance, attempting to re-stake his claim as the starting quarterback of the Cowboys. Playing this scenario out, the Cowboys would have a week off before beginning their playoff run, with Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett spending it embroiled in a quarterback controversy. That is IF Romo played well. If Romo did not play well, or appeared rusty, then there would be no quarterback debate.
So whether the Cowboys have playoff seeding at stake or not, the starting quarterback decision for that game will be a HUGE talking point.
It remains to be seen if the Eagles would enter the game with a playoff birth on the line. They travel to Seattle, host the Packers, go to Cincinnati, host the Redskins, Then play in Baltimore before hosting the Giants and Cowboys. As they are currently 5–4, and 0–3 in the division, The Eagles would probably be looking at a Wild Card position if there are playoff implications for them. It is possible that is the case.
Wentz vs Prescott. Wentz vs Romo. Wentz vs Sanchez? Playoff birth vs Playoff seeding. Playoff birth vs a returning Romo. Could a Cowboys quarterback controversy start right before the playoffs ? Stay tuned — this game is shaping up to be fascinating.