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ParcellsGuys Editorial

2005 NFL Schedule, Part 2: Win Division Road Games or Else

The second half of the Cowboys 2005 schedule has the team going on the road to face each of it’s divisional rivals. You can bet the farm that these games will determine whether the Cowboys make the playoffs this season.

Week 10: What a way to being the second half, on the road in Philly against the defending NFC East champs on Monday Night Football. This could catapult the team into NFC East favorites or drop the team to NFC East cellar dwellers. Having a running game working effectively in road games will get you a close game win. Whether the Cowboys can do that will determine the outcome of the game. The Eagles will be hyped up to play this game so the first quarter will determine the course of this match up. I hate to say the Cowboys will lose this one, but it will be an uphill battle from the kickoff.

Week 11: The Lions come to Dallas and by this time in the season we should know if Joey Harrington held off free agent pick up Jeff Garcia for the Lion's Quarterback position. Neither one of these guys scares anyone but Garcia offers up more of a challenge for the defense because of his ability to scramble. Detroit could either be really good by this game or really bad by this game, it all depends upon the QB play. Coach Parcells will have this team focused to beat the Lions, as it’s the game before Thanksgiving, Cowboys win by a field goal.

Week 12: Turkey Day and the always tough Broncos are in town for the holiday. Mike Shannahan is a master at the run game and usually has someone formidable in his backfield along side Quarterback Jake Plummer. As far as the defense, I am not sure the Broncos are as smart at building a formidable unit. The recent signings of all the Ex-Browns to play defense for the Broncos this season had to be considered strange as last season’s Browns Defense was horrible. Good for the Cowboys though as I can see it now, Julius Jones will have over 100 yards and at least 3 TD’s. Cowboys win by 21.

Week 13: Another division road game as the Cowboys go to New York to meet the Giants. This could be a cold weather game as it’s in the first week of December. Eli maybe a bit more comfortable with Giant newcomer Plaxico Burress by this one, so the Cowboy defense had better be playing shut down football this late in the season. Maybe the Giants will offer up an early Christmas gift and the Cowboys will get out of the Meadowlands with a win. This will be a toss up game and should be a nail biter.

Week 14: Chiefs are bringing one of the games best offenses to Texas Stadium. Chiefs Tight End Tony Gonzalez is a tough match up for any team, but the Cowboys have a great group of coverage linebackers with Dat Nguyen in the middle. The Chiefs defense is being rebuilt as we speak, but I think the Cowboy offense can hang in their long enough to make it a good game. Drew Bledsoe should have it easy in a Dallas win.

Week 15: Last division game on the schedule as Coach Parcells brings his troops into D.C. for a must win against the Redskins. This could be the most important game of the season and may possibly be for a division title. Seems the Cowboys have the Skins number the last few seasons and I hope it continues in this game. A very tough road game versus a team that could be fighting for a playoff spot as well, hoping for a Cowboys win but wouldn’t bet any money on it.

Week 16: The Panthers came on strong late last season after some early injuries decimated their roster. These guys bring it when the gun sounds and especially at home in Carolina. Last regular season road game for the Cowboys and I hope this isn’t a must win, the Cowboys have not played well in any games at Carolina to date. No real strength on either side of the ball for Carolina, they aren’t flashy but they win games. Carolina Quarterack Jake Delhomme wasn’t as spectacular last season after coming off the Super Bowl in 2003. He may have come back to earth and let’s hope he’s not putting up big numbers when the Cowboys arrive in town. Come up with a masterful game plan Coach Parcells and the Cowboys might win this one.

Week 17: Season finale against the Rams at home. High-powered offense goes with the Rams no matter who is on the team, but this is another team that struggled on defense last season and squeaked into the playoffs. I think the Rams will be worse on defense this season and won’t be a factor in the playoff race. I see the Cowboys winning this one easily whether it’s for the playoffs or not.

Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs! This team should be in the “tournament” come January and can go far if they play Coach Parcells football. I will hold up from predicting any Super Bowl appearances, but with a little good fortune you just never know.


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