By Alex Al-Kazzaz
After eight games, the Dallas Cowboys stand with a 5-3 record. Had it not been for two losses that could have easily been avoided, the team would have been in better shape and in a better position than they are now. However, they put themselves in this jam, and it's up to them to fight.
After Thanksgiving, Dallas' season hits the final and most challenging stretch: December. Over the years, December has not been a pleasant month for Dallas. The last two seasons have been a different story, but come December, Dallas faces the likes of the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Eagles at home. They'll take on the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins on the road. Perhaps it's better to say that the challenges start on Thanksgiving against Washington. Either way, the rest of the season is anything but a walk in the park.
Before Thanksgiving, Dallas takes on Carolina on the road, and there's no excuse for Dallas against the 1-8 Panthers. Washington has given Dallas problems on Thanksgiving in the past, and a highly anticipated match is expected this year. Seattle is much better than they look, and Dallas playing them at home applies pressure. On paper, these are all wins for Dallas, but reality may say otherwise. A 1-2 record will profoundly affect Dallas going into December.
Philadelphia is unwilling to allow Dallas to win, even on their home turf. Last season, Dallas was able to take the win at home against Philadelphia, but let's not forget that Jalen Hurts was out for that game, and Gardner Minshew almost led the Eagles to a victory. Taking on the Bills and Dolphins on the road in back-to-back weeks is a lot to deal with. Realistically, Dallas may take the win one of those two, which would be against the Dolphins, but it wouldn't be surprising if Dallas lost both. Now there's a realistic 0-3 stretch...too soon?
Detroit at home and another season-finale on the road against Washington. Who knows how Dallas will be at that point? If Dallas is out of the playoffs by then, Detroit will take advantage of an opportunity to throw salt into what's already a painful wound for Dallas. Washington would love to only increase that pain. If it comes to that, we can expect Mike McCarthy to be out of a job next Monday morning.