Philadelphia 27, Dallas 13: Meaningless, We Hope
The Dallas Cowboys had wrapped up the top seed in the NFC playoffs before taking the field on Sunday against the Eagles. The game turned into something resembling a preseason game, with the team sitting several key starters.
Dak Prescott played for about a quarter. Mark Sanchez played most of the rest of the game.
In between came the first appearance of 2015 by Tony Romo. He completed three of four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. Most highlights of the game have focused on Romo’s short appearance.
Other coverage of the game has focused on the fact that Dallas did not win its final game, while the Falcons, Packers, Seahawks, and Giants did. A win would have given the Cowboys a franchise record 14 wins, but the team seemed more concerned with protecting its players from injury.
Winning the Final Game Is Critical?
It has only been nine years since the Cowboys started a season with a 13-2 record. Dallas traveled to Washington but did next to nothing in a 27-6 loss. Two weeks later, the Cowboys lost to the Giants. Many (including me) believe that Dallas lost momentum thanks to a late-season slide.
During each of the five times that the Cowboys have won a Super Bowl, the Cowboys have won their season finale. Moreover, the three teams that lost the Super Bowl also won their regular season finales.
Winning the season finale has not been critical to all recent Super Bowl champions, however. Of the last ten Super Bowl champions, four lost their last regular season games. These teams included the 2014 Patriots, the 2012 Ravens, the 2009 Saints, and the 2007 Giants. In fact, New Orleans lost its final three games of the 2009 season after a 13-0 start, but the Saints were able to win Super Bowl XLIV anyway.
Witten Does Not Break Irvin’s Record
Jason Witten entered Sunday’s game needing only 27 yards to surpass Michael Irvin as the team’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
Witten only managed 10 yards, though, so Irvin will remain the franchise leader until at least the early part of 2017. Witten still needs 17 yards to take over the top spot.
Elliott’s 1631 Yards Ranks Fifth
For the sixth time, a Dallas running back led the league in rushing.
Ezekiel Elliott gained 1631 yards, even after sitting out the season finale on Sunday. His total ranks fifth in team history.
The top ten are now as follows: