It's Cowboys Time

Perfect storm in NFC East spells playoff opportunity for Dallas Cowboys

Perfect storm in NFC East spells playoff opportunity for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys face a crucial stretch of games. Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys
Cole Beasley
Rookies like Cole Beasley have played a pivotal role so far this season. Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys
Terrance Williams
Terrance Williams, a W.T. White and Baylor alum, has stepped up big in his first year with the Cowboys. Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten
Jason Witten is destined for the Hall of Fame, but will he have a Super Bowl ring to go with it? Dallas Cowboys/Facebook
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
Cole Beasley
Terrance Williams
Jason Witten

The phrase "there's no time like the present" should be plastered on every wall at Valley Ranch for the next month. During that span, the Dallas Cowboys have a real chance at wining the NFC East, but only if they take care of business.

The team travels up to Detroit this week to take on a Lions team that recently handed Dallas one of the more gut-wrenching losses of the Tony Romo era. The Cowboys are considered slight underdogs in the matchup, and that slim margin represents the team's biggest statistical challenge until after Thanksgiving.

Should the Cowboys make it past the Lions, the schedule through November pits Dallas against three teams with a combined record of 4-15.

  There has never been a better season for the Cowboys to make a playoff run. The normally vicious NFC East is the weakest it's ever been.

In contests against Minnesota, New Orleans, New York and Oakland, the Saints are the only opponents before Thanksgiving that currently have a winning record. That spells opportunity.

Meanwhile, Washington — the team many consider the biggest threat to Dallas in the division — gets the Broncos, Chargers and 49ers in that span. Those teams have a combined record of 15-6.  Plus, the Skins get the currently undefeated Chiefs in early December. Not exactly a cake walk.

It's very possible for Dallas to win four of their next five games considering the Cowboys will be favored in three of them. That would give Dallas eight wins for the season and most likely a huge lead in the division. Remember, the Seattle Seahawks won their division a few years back with a 7-9 record and then rode Marshawn Lynch to a first-round upset of the Saints.

There has never been a better season for the Cowboys to make a playoff run. The normally vicious NFC East is the weakest it's ever been. 

Despite a win over the Vikings, the Giants are still a pile of flaming wreckage. The Eagles have a defense with bigger cracks than the Liberty Bell. And a franchise quarterback could have a countdown clock until his next injury. Yes, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins look to be rounding into form of late, but they have a schedule chock full of dangerous games.

Now is the time for the Cowboys. They have a golden chance to put a vice grip on the division and secure a berth in the NFC playoffs for one of the few times since 1999. It all starts this weekend in Detroit, where the Cowboys can either springboard toward the division title or risk being pulled back into the quagmire with the rest of the division.