The Dallas Cowboys could look at their 4-4 record at the midway point of the season as half-empty. Instead, they choose to take the optimist’s view: It is half-full.
The Cowboys, believe it or not, are in position for their first playoff berth since 2009. The NFC East is a combined 11-20, with the Cowboys holding a one-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles, who have lost two in a row.
“We’ve got to keep our eye on continuing to win games,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last week on his radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM. “This thing is going to come down to the end, and you could have a situation like Baltimore did last year. They didn’t look like they were it. They weren’t playing very well. We missed beating them by a [missed] 6-inch field goal, to refresh our memory, and they end up in the world championship.
“We’re continuing to have some injury that will impact that, too. But we’ve just got to keep dealing with what we’re dealing with.
“I want to be very positive, though. We’re sitting here with probably as good a chance… to be where we want to be as we did when we started the season.”
The Cowboys’ four losses were by a total of 14 points. Two were one-point losses, and Denver beat them by three on a last-second field goal.
Dallas blew fourth-quarter leads against the Denver Broncos and the Detroit Lions, and they blew halftime leads against the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers.
The Cowboys’ losses have come against teams with a combined 24-7 record.
“I think we’re a better football team than 4-4, but at the end of the day, Bill Parcells used to say, ‘You are what you are,’” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We’ve won four games pretty solidly. We unfortunately can’t win a close one right now, but that’s going to change. We’re going to get better. We’ll continue to improve. I do think that will change.
“I think we’ve got a good football team. We just haven’t been able to pull out one of these tight ones. We’ve lost four really close ones. We’re 0-4 in the close ones, and you’d like to think one or two of those would go your way. But you are what you are. We’re 4-4. We’re disappointed. But we’re certainly optimistic about what lies ahead of us.”
The Cowboys’ remaining opponents are 25-33, with only three opponents sporting a winning record. So, despite their record, all of the Cowboys’ off-season goals remain in front of them.
“We control our destiny,” Stephen Jones said. “We have to go out and play well and play better in all phases. I think from an injury standpoint, we do have reinforcements coming in terms of getting players back on the field. So there are a lot of reasons to think that we can be better.”
Sizing up the NFC East
Cowboys’ remaining schedule