After the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles punched their tickets to the Super Bowl on Sunday, one fan base took it harder than any other team despite not being in the playoffs. Dallas Cowboys fans were miserable seeing their arch-rivals the Eagles ascend to the top of the NFC behind their back-up quarterback. Yet, there is a silver lining for the Cowboys to get back to the promised land and the Eagles have planted the blueprint.
The Eagles and the Cowboys both had similar setbacks during the 2017 season. Both teams suffered injuries at key positions and suspensions. Yet, the Eagles managed to overcome every test that was thrown at them and is ready to fight for their first championship. The Cowboys were drowned by every obstacle in their way.
What was the difference?
While we could go with the good old answer of coaching that is taking over the Cowboys’ media and fan base, I have two other reasons which are talent and depth. The Eagles built a great team in a short window. Not only do they possess one of the more talented defenses in the league, they also provided depth across key positions. When their coach preaches next man up, it actually means something. Look at the fact that they lost their quarterback, left tackle and linebacker for the season and it didn’t affect them one bit.
On the other hand, when the Cowboys lost just one of those players for a game, the results were horrendous. The coaching may have hampered the growth of their key players, but the front-office neglected the talent. They neglected the foundation and that is where successful teams thrive.
Though it looks like we are nowhere close to being where Philly is, that is simply not the case. On talent alone, the Cowboys managed to get to a 9-7 record still. What needs to happen is to keep building through the draft and free-agency, with a focus on the defensive side of the football. Building a stable foundation for this team will eventually allow the talent to thrive and succeed despite the coaching.
So this off-season, if you want to change for your franchise, don’t ask for the coach’s head rather demand depth and defense.
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