Cowboys and Patriots go in different directions


This is how dynasties are born: with the luckiest ruptures, with everything that breaks exactly in the right direction at the right time, with a defeat that turns into victory at the last possible moment.

This is how dynasties die: stepping too slow, missing the mark by just an inch, watching fortune and luck leap across the field to get closer to the opposition.

Sunday afternoon’s Cowboys-Patriots game wasn’t just the best game of the season yet, with five changes ahead and draws in the final 10 minutes of play. It just might be the time. where two of the league’s most famous and decorated franchises have crossed paths in opposite directions.

Yes, it’s a long way from here to Super Bowl glory for Dallas. And any team that has Bill Belichick by their side is a team that deserves to be taken seriously. But still … we saw a team from Dallas who made their own luck and capitalized on their own immense skills, and a team from New England who struggled to do more than just keep pace for the major. part of the match, and how often has either of these happened over the past two decades?

Dallas won 35-29 in overtime, closing a frenzied 10-minute final in which both teams appeared to have the game completely locked only to see it slip through their fingers. Talent won, yes, hardly, but talent won all the same. Listen intently, and you can hear the shocks of the Cowboys bandwagon start to moan as the impatient fans crowd aboard.

Cowboys standing …

It is, on paper (or on the phone screen, depending on) arguably the most talented team Dallas has fielded since the days of Aikman / Smith / Irvin. Ezekiel Elliott looks like the Ezekiel Elliott you always expected to get when you first drafted him in fantasy. The receiving corps led by CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper can catch anything that is still in Earth’s atmosphere. Trevon Diggs single-handedly tilts all the court since high school, as Deion Sanders once did. And Dak Prescott is proving he was well worth the monster contract he signed earlier this year … as long as he’s healthy, that is.

They’re a team with legitimate playoff ambitions, and not just because they play in the otherwise dismal NFC East. In an NFC up for grabs, the Cowboys might just be… yes, really… a Super Bowl favorite.

But don’t celebrate yet, Cowboy fans… this team still has a lot of issues, which were all on display on Sunday. Stupid mistakes that drew the equivalent of a laundry basket of penalty flags. Missed missions and defensive mistakes that would have easily cost Dallas the match against a better opponent. And at the top of the garbage pyramid, game calls so conservative they bordered on catatonic … nothing worse than a late-game decision to hit a basket on the fourth and two on New England territory despite moving the ball with ease up to this point. The field basket sailed wide to the left, and it looked like the Cowboys did… until, of course, it didn’t.

“Give Dallas credit,” Belichick said after the game. “It’s a good team, well trained. We just arrived a bit short. I thought we were in front of them for 60 minutes. They just made a few more games than us. Let’s give them credit for that and move on.

Bill Belichick is looking for answers that are not there. (Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

… Patriots ashore

It is much easier to complain than to do. The fact that New England even had a chance to win is a testament to Belichick’s personal genius. Belichick rummages in a refrigerator at three in the morning, trying to scoop up something from old meat, dried mustard, and expired milk. But it just puts you in the light of day, it won’t feed you in the long run.

Mac Jones may be the answer to New England quarterback, but he’s not quite there yet. All of the New England trademarks are in place – running backs, acrobatic receivers, an efficient pocket passer… but it looks like a cover version of classic Patriots teams, a hazy shadow of past greatness.

The signs abound. New England are now 2-4, potentially three games behind Buffalo for the lead in the division until tomorrow night’s game. The team have lost four home games in a row, the first time since 1993. Prescott threw for 445 yards on Sunday, the most ever – already – against a team coached by Bill Belichick.

In four months, this game could be little more than a Remember when? from the start of the season. Or it could be something else, something more… the last gasps of one dynasty and the first steps of another.

CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys are on the rise.  (Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys are on the rise. (Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]

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