DALLAS - Is the prospect of the Dallas Cowboys missing the playoffs raining on your Christmas festivities? Are you pounding eggnog harder than Clark Griswold when Cousin Eddie showed up?
Even though the odds are stacked against Dallas making the playoffs, the final two weeks of the year will be wildly entertaining for Cowboys fans. So, whether you're thinking about mailing it in for next season or on the edge of your seat hoping for a Wild Card spot, Dallas' last two games has something for everyone.
Here are a few reasons you need to tune in to Dallas' final two games:
So you're telling me there's a chance?
They don't control their own destiny. They need several other teams to lose before they even get a whiff of the postseason. But yes, there's a chance.
Unless Dallas loses against Seattle, the Cowboys cannot be eliminated from the playoffs this week. This means. should Dallas top the Seahawks, Week 17 will consist of careful scoreboard watching and probably a shortage of antacids across the metroplex.
In order for the Cowboys to make the playoffs, Dallas must win out, Atlanta, New Orleans or Carolina must lose twice and Detroit must lose once. Atlanta and New Orleans square off this week, while Carolina takes on Tampa Bay and Detroit battles Cincinnati.
In short, Dallas' playoff hopes hinge on the misfortune of others, and those those hopes took another hit Wednesday when Green Bay put Aaron Rodgers on the shelf for the rest of the year.
They may not make the playoffs, but the Cowboys' last two games will, at nothing else, be wildly entertaining.
Guess who's back, back again?
Fresh off a six-game suspension and soaking up the sun in Cabo, Ezekiel Elliott has returned. The question now becomes is it too little too late?
Dallas went 3-3 without Elliott, and at times, the offense looked downright anemic. Dak Prescott struggled in losses against the Falcons, Eagles and Chargers, but the past three games, has steadily found his footing.
Getting the league's leading rusher from 2016 back should help matters offensively, assuming Elliott isn't rusty — and was actually training down in Mexico. Perhaps his documentary on his Cabo excursion could shed some light on that, if and when it's ever released.
Alfred Morris performed admirably in Zeke's stead, and while he held the fort down, Cowboys fans everywhere should rejoice for Elliott's return. Even though the final Wild Card spot may be out of reach, Dallas supporters will still be able to get a final glimpse at Elliott in his second year before the offseason begins.
And hey, i'm sure some fantasy owners are pleased about Zeke's return, too. Plus, Twitter has been void of any Zeke eating GIFs since early November,
Admittedly, it would have been near impossible for Prescott to follow up his rookie campaign this year with anything other than a Super Bowl for people to deem it more successful than 2016. Prescott broke Tom Brady's record for most pass attempts to start a career without an interception, led Dallas to a 13-3 record, NFC East crown while navigating through the Tony Romo saga.
As Andrew Tobolowsky wrote earlier this week, if this season is a "sophomore slump" for Dak, the prospect of going 10-6 in a down year is pretty remarkable. It shows how high expectations are for the second-year, fourth-round quarterback.
Fair or not, Prescott is the quarterback of America's team now, and the spotlight is shining directly on him. There's no denying he struggled in the first three games without Zeke, tossing five interceptions, but Prescott has since rebounded nicely.
The final two games present enormous challenges for Prescott, especially against two of the best defenses in the league in Seattle and Philadelphia. Cowboys fans have wanted Prescott to take more shots down the field all season, so it will be interesting to see if he stretches the field or chooses to dink-and-dunk his way to first downs.
With no room for error, Prescott will be under a microscope against the Seahawks and Eagles, which should entice fans to tune in. How does Zeke's return impact Dak's play? How will Dak perform under pressure, and will he be able to sneak the Cowboys into the playoffs?
Only time will tell.
At least they have a chance.
Will Santa bring the Cowboys a win on Sunday or leave coal in their stockings? Share your predictions with Reece on Twitter @ReeceWaddell15.
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