MINNEAPOLIS – As someone who truly believes that soccer is the new “America’s Pastime,” I want to take a moment to steal a phrase that’s really only used in baseball.
It’s a rare feat when a pitcher goes out and throws a perfect play. I’ve never seen one in real life and can’t imagine how dominant a pitcher must be to face 27 batters and get every one of them out.
But football-wise, I just saw a perfect game.
Yes, without a doubt, that’s about as perfect of a football game a team can play, especially on the road against an opponent who came out to have the best record in the NFL.
And I think we all know that the Vikings are a team that’s taken a few beatings lately. Even Las Vegas had the Cowboys as easy favorites, which is unheard of against a team with this record and a home game.
The Cowboys coming in here and winning wasn’t a huge surprise, but the way it was done certainly is. In fact, the 37-point win is the Cowboys’ largest lead on the road in team history.
Yeah, I can’t say I even named that achievement.
And it’s hard to ever gauge a team’s mental state, especially after they lost a heartthrob in Green Bay the week before, when you know how close they came to leaving Lambeau Field with a win only to beat Aaron Losing Rodgers…ugh -win!
So what happened? Well, the team was kind of after each other during the week. Rumor has it that some players – mainly in defense – had a few heartfelt chats that probably couldn’t be broadcast on regular TV. There were some accountability issues back and forth and it sounded like a few players had been called out.
Whatever happened, the defense was pissed off.
Even Dak Prescott said he could feel it during the week of practice and said he knew the Vikings would have some problems because the defense is flying around “100 mph” in practice.
But here’s the thing: It looked like the Cowboys’ offense could handle it pretty well, too, because against the Vikings, Prescott and co did whatever they wanted. Seven possessions early in the game – seven times they ended in points. That’s the first time the Cowboys have done so in over 40 years, when the NFL started keeping these types of stats.
The defense was menacing. The offense was straight dominant. And if that wasn’t enough, the Special Teams was downright special.
Brett Maher? Are you kidding me? The NFL would give him the league record with a 120-yard field goal after he drilled two 60-yarders in a row, since it was the NFL’s fault that it happened in the first place. Seriously, someone upstairs has ONE JOB in the last two minutes of a half, and that’s reviewing every game that seems worth a second look. And the cowboys even helped them by demanding a time-out.
Even so, they still had to wait for the ball to be snapped to decide? Man, I can’t imagine how angry Mike McCarthy would have been if Maher hadn’t made it. But he pierced it and kept signaling what a day this was for the Cowboys.
It was absolutely perfect!
OK, now what? We all know what that means.
I’m sure whenever a pitcher goes out and throws the perfect play it raises even more expectations for his next start. And the thing is, the last perfect game has nothing to do with the next. In fact, the opposing thugs are likely to be even more trapped.
And that also applies here with the cowboys. Just as the losses are just a game, the wins are obviously the same.
But it raises expectations for everyone – and rightly so.
This game right here, this Viking 40-3 shellacking is the one we’re all going to point out. If future moments have issues here and there or a bumpy road, we will all return to this Minnesota game.
Just like a kid in school who isn’t consistent with their grades – let me tell you I can relate to that – if they ever go out and get a 100 on a test, from that moment on their teachers, his parents and even himself should expect more of it. Plain and simple because it was done.
No, the Cowboys probably won’t be playing many “perfect” games like this in the future. Who knows when we’ll see one like this again?
But that is not the point. The point is, if the Cowboys can do this in Minnesota to a team that should be one of the best in the NFL, it should send a message to everyone else about what the Cowboys are capable of.
Does that mean they will win? Does that mean they’re going to make the Super Bowl? Who knows something? But we do know that cowboys have the ability to be perfect.
And if they do that at the right time, yes, all these other things are possible.