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Are the Dallas Cowboys back?

Credit Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

How big of a win was it for the Dallas Cowboys last night? It was everything. A loss to the Washington Redskins last night would’ve put the Cowboys on track to a 5-7 record and would’ve closed the door on any playoff hopes. But the Sean Lee and Ezekiel Elliott-less Cowboys got the job done in Dallas Thursday night as they won convincingly, 38-14.

For the first time in three games the Cowboys scored in double-digits, had a 100-yard plus rusher and forced multiple turnovers on the defensive end. Chidobe Awuzie looked like Deion Sanders out there, DeMarcus Lawrence controlled the line like he always does with another two sacks to continue leading the NFL with 13.5 and rookie Ryan Switzer, who called himself the best returner in the draft returned a punt for 83 yards.

But what the Cowboys should be the most excited about was that wide receiver Dez Bryant finally looked like Dez Bryant. Coming into the game of every receiver in the NFL, on passes of 25 yards or more, Bryant caught just 5 of the 29 attempts thrown to him, ranking him dead last in the NFL. Now Bryant didn’t record a catch over 25 yards last night, but his 13 yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was everything the Cowboys needed to see from the eight year veteran.

So the question now remains, are the Dallas Cowboys back?

The Dallas Cowboys will travel to New York next week where they may face Eli Manning, Geno Smith or rookie Davis Webb. Though while that question still remains, the Cowboys will get back linebacker Sean Lee who said after the 38-14 win Thursday that he expects to be back.

“We will be back,” Lee said. “We are practicing this week. Everything is on track. I’m feeling great.”

Despite being able to keep their playoff dreams afloat last night, adding Lee back into the lineup is an extreme boost as the Cowboys before Thursday were 0-5 this season without Lee in the lineup.

So are the Cowboys back? Of course. Despite Dak Prescott throwing for just 102 yards, the Cowboys offense still played well as they started on a short field on several occasions. They also ran the ball very well as they ran it 42 times for 182 yards averaging 4.3 yards per carry. So don’t really pay attention too much to the 102 yards. Did Prescott miss some throws? Yes. But he gets a 29th ranked pass defense next week that will be sure to boost his numbers.

Now let’s jump to the defensive side of the ball. The Cowboys decided to swapped Awuzie in place of Anthony Brown which did wonders for the defense as I mentioned earlier. They increased the playing time for second-year safety Kavon Frazier, who had a career game. Though they used him in a smart way as they limited him in coverage. But Frazier added a physical presence that the Cowboys have been lacking in as he did a great job against the run. He showed glimpses of old time Cowboy safety, Roy Williams. They also moved Xavier Woods back into the slot where he played earlier in the season and did a good job. Now add in Lee to this mix…fireworks.

So are the playoff hopes a true reality for the Cowboys?

The Cowboys remaining schedule looks like this:
-New York Giants (2-9)
-Oakland Raiders (5-6)
-Seattle Seahawks (7-4 also Elliott’s return)
-Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

As for the team’s ahead of them in the wild card seeding are, the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. Though being a 1.5 games out of a wild card berth, the Dallas Cowboys still have a lot of hope as the four teams ahead of them all have very tough remaining schedules.

Credit Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers (8-3) last five:
-New Orleans Saints (8-3)
-Minnesota Vikings (9-2)
-Green Bay Packers (5-6)
-Tampa Bay Bucaneers (4-7)
-Atlanta Falcons (7-4)

Atlanta Falcons (7-4) last five:
-Minnesota Vikings (9-2)
-New Orleans Saints (8-3)
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
-New Orleans Saints (8-3)
-Carolina Panthers (8-3)

Seattle Seahawks (7-4) last five:
-Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)
-Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)
-LA Rams (8-3)
-Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
-Arizona Cardinals (5-6)

Detroit Lions 6-5) last five:
-Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
-Tampa Bay Bucaneers (4-7)
-Chicago Bears (3-8)
-Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
-Green Bay Packers (5-6)

After looking over those schedules it would be Donald Trump like to call the Dallas Cowboys playoff hopes over.

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