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The Cowboys are off to a 3-3 record for the second year in a row. According to at least one story, Dallas has about a 30 percent chance of making the playoffs with this start.
(Losing Sean Lee certainly doesn’t help. In fact, I think the Cowboys’ chances of recording another turnover this season just fell from 50% to 5%. I’ll keep you posted.)
The Cowboys don’t have a deep history with 3-3 records. Including the 2012 season, Dallas has started only eight seasons with 3-3 marks.
The really bad news: the Cowboys managed a winning record in only one of those previous seven seasons, and that was thanks to a boost that Tony Romo gave the team in 2006. Here is a summary:
1961: Start 3-3, Finish 4-9-1. Dallas finished the year with an 0-6-1 record.
1962: Start 3-3-1, Finish 5-8-1. Dallas finished the year with a 1-5 record.
1987: Start 3-3, Finish 7-8. Thanks to the replacement players, Dallas started the season at 3-1. It did not end as well.
1997: Start 3-3, Finish 6-10. Barry Switzer’s swan song did not end well as the Cowboys lost their last five games.
2002: Start 3-3, Finish 5-11. Dave Campo’s swan song did not start or end well.
2006: Start 3-3, Finish 9-7. Lost to Seattle in the playoffs. The Cowboys had a 3-3 record when Romo officially took over for Drew Bledsoe. Dallas improved to 9-5 but finished at 9-7.
2011: Start 3-3, Finish 8-8. The Cowboys became world-beaters in November before having yet another December to forget.
By the way, don’t look at this year’s December schedule. It isn’t cause for optimism.