FRISCO, Texas — If you ask any player or coach with the Dallas Cowboys, their opponents do not matter.
“It is about us” is a continual refrain, which is why the Cowboys spent their Week eight bye acquiring away from football.
The 4-day break permitted the Cowboys to reset just before returning to perform Tuesday. It is also a very good time to reset exactly where they are in the standings. The Cowboys (four-three) are in initially spot in the NFC East, and their finest path to consecutive playoff appearances appears to go by means of the division.
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Dallas could have benefited in the division race had the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Buffalo Bills in Week eight. Regarding possible wild-card probabilities, it did assistance that the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers every single lost, but it did not assistance that the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions won.
As the Cowboys prepare for Monday night’s (eight:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) meeting with the New York Giants (two-six), here’s a appear at this week and beyond:
This week’s strategy
The Cowboys will hold an abbreviated practice Tuesday and are off once again on Wednesday. They will fall back into their typical routine on Thursday, contemplating the Monday evening kickoff.
There will be a lot to achieve this week, namely acquiring newly acquired defensive finish Michael Bennett up to speed with the Cowboys’ program. The former Patriot operated beneath a unique scheme in New England, but he will return to what he was familiar with in Seattle, possessing spent time with the Seahawks beneath Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard.
No stranger to acclimating new players close to midseason, the Cowboys have been in a position to get wide receiver Amari Cooper up to speed pretty immediately immediately after acquiring him throughout their bye week final season. The very good news is the transition for a defensive lineman must be a small much easier.
‘Locked back in’
The Cowboys began the season with 3 convincing wins, and then they lost 3 consecutive games. Quarterback Dak Prescott indicated the Cowboys got ahead of themselves a small bit for the reason that of how effectively they began.
“We’re going to deal with achievement the proper way so that we never have to get to these points exactly where our backs are against the wall,” Prescott mentioned.
The Week 7 win against Philadelphia suggests practically nothing if the Cowboys shed to the Giants on Monday.
“We’ve talked about it in right here,” guard Zack Martin mentioned. “I never feel we’re as very good as we believed we have been immediately after these initially 3 games. You never ever want to shed these games, but it was a wake-up contact for us, and I feel the guys are locked back in.”
The Cowboys held two-hours-lengthy practices just before departing for the bye weekend. Most of the starters did not practice, and 20 players have been offered time off to lift and run but did not practice.
“It offers absolutely everyone a likelihood to sort of get out of the rhythm of the season for a small bit in a very good way,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett mentioned, “and hopefully get some time off and come back subsequent week refreshed and prepared to go, reset, recharged and excited for the subsequent challenge.”
Tackles Tyron Smith (ankle) and La’el Collins (knee) surely necessary the rest. So did Leighton Vander Esch (stinger) and Robert Quinn (ribs), who have been banged up in the Eagles’ win. But Cooper, Randall Cobb, Martin, Byron Jones, Anthony Brown, DeMarcus Lawrence and other folks had been dealing with bumps, bruises and strains and necessary the time off, as well.
The Cowboys, if they want, can also get started the practice windows for Noah Brown (knee) and Connor McGovern (pectoral) from the physically unable to execute list and injured reserve.
What is ahead
This is why the Cowboys’ bye week comes at a very good time: Immediately after the Giants, Dallas plays the Vikings, Lions, Patriots and Bills inside a 19-day span.
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These are essential NFC matchups, a game against the finest group in football and a Bills’ squad that is five-two and performing far better than anticipated.
This is why the Week six loss to the New York Jets could be so haunting. The Cowboys never have considerably wiggle area must they falter in the division. The Cowboys just about have to win 3 of their subsequent 5 games to be in a position to make a move in the conference more than the final month of the season.
And that schedule is not so simple, either. They play at Chicago, host the Rams, play at Philadelphia and close the season against the Washington Redskins.
“[The bye is] a likelihood for all of us to take a small bit of a breath,” Garrett mentioned.
They may possibly have to hold their breath more than the final nine games.