We need to admit to ourselves that the Dallas Cowboys are good

Like I’m sure a lot of you do, I spend a lot of time reading and listening to opinions about the Dallas Cowboys. Yesterday was no different. After the game was over, I tuned into a particular local sports radio station to hear their take on Dallas’s uneven-yet-workmanlike 21-6 win over the New York Giants.

The hosts were doing their usual fine job of breaking down the game and its inherent minutiae, but that wasn’t what caught my attention the most. What grabbed my ears were the callers, and a goodly number of them seem to of a firm belief that the Cowboys aren’t a good team.

The Dallas Cowboys are a better team than some of the fan base will admit.

Now, we can point to years of disappointment leading to a bitter sense of jaded cynicism. Heck, I’m a charter member of that club. I’ve been following this franchise for decades now. I don’t have to explain my Cowboy fan bona fides to anyone. But I was also reminded that the fragility we can display (after a win, no less) can be a bit irksome.

To be fair to that crowd, sure, there weren’t many fireworks to speak of on the offensive side of the ball. That’s a trend that has presented itself for a while now, and one has to think the Cowboys are going to have to score their way out of their troubles at some point. But for right now, we’re just going to have to cross that bridge when we get there.

In the meantime, we have to face a few facts about this club and their place in the NFL pecking order. For one, they’re tied for the second best record in the league at 10-4. We can debate over the quality of some of those wins, sure, but show me a team out there that the Cowboys without a doubt can’t beat. The short answer is that there isn’t one.

The NFC East is all but sewn up with three games to go, so barring a total meltdown, they’ll host a playoff game come January. Further, this bunch has a realistic shot at posting a 13-4 record if things break right. Oh, and don’t look now, but the presumed class of the conference–the Arizona Cardinals–have suddenly lost two in a row and got drubbed by the lowly Detroit Lions yesterday.

This brings me back to my point about teams the Cowboys can’t beat. I say this and feel this way because of that defense. I’ll allow that the Giants are not a good team, but the defense hauled off and posted their third straight four-takeaway game. Their relentlessness has provided short fields for the offense to work with, and they’ve capitalized enough to win three games in a row on the road. Bad teams don’t do that.

So while I fully understand where the apprehension about this team is coming from, I also wish to state the obvious and contend that the local football squad does in fact know how to play this game. Are they championship-worthy? That’s another argument, but you know what they say about defense. It wins championships. To that end, the Dallas Cowboys might be poised to stun all of us when the dust settles on this season.