No wiggle room as 'playoffs start now' for Dallas Cowboys

Prescott embraces 'playoffs start now' mentality for Cowboys - Shuyler Dixon, Associated Press
The postseason started early for the Cowboys this year, Dixon explains.
The postseason essentially started with five games to go, thanks to some early-season struggles and the three-game skid when star running back Ezekiel Elliott finally started serving his six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence.
Prescott, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, embraces the "playoffs start now" mentality as the Cowboys (6-6) prepare to visit the last-place New York Giants on Sunday a year after they were 11-1 with 11 straight wins on their way to an NFC-best 13-3.
"The whole point of us winning out, it motivates me," Prescott said. "I feel like it should motivate anybody in this locker room. We're not looking at letdowns. We're not looking at anything. It's one thing in our head and it's to win."
No wiggle room left as Cowboys begin season’s final quarter - Drew Davison, Star Telegram
The Cowboys have to win their next four games to even have a “fuzzy-math” chance at the postseason, Davison explains.
The Dallas Cowboys have no wiggle room left if they hope to make the playoffs.
At 6-6 with four games to go, there might be some fuzzy-math scenarios at the end that could point in the Cowboys’ favor if they win out.
That’s the big picture.
The small picture is winning a road game on Sunday against the 2-10 New York Giants. The Giants are in disarray, but this is still the NFC East and anything can happen.

How the Cowboys finally found a pass rush that wreaks havoc on QBs - Brandon George, SportsDay
Highly readable article by George, in which Rod Marinelli explains how the Cowboys' pass-rush works.
Marinelli believes that in his scheme the four defensive linemen must play in harmony to reach the one common goal of wreaking havoc on the quarterback.
"It all works together. Everybody has a job," Marinelli said. "Everybody keeps rushing hard but also rushing smart together. Four equals one. All four of those guys feed off of each other well. I like it so far."
"They go through the tough camps. They go through the hustle and pursuit drills. And you build them up," Marinelli said of the four. "They go through hard times. That's what you like. You don't want it to be easy.
"This stuff doesn't come easy. If it was easy, everybody would be playing this system. It's not an easy system to play. It's a grind. Not many people keep working the front four anymore."
DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving have the most sacks and may hog most of the headlines, but ...
But they've also been helped by Crawford's consistent strong push from right end.
"He can walk those athletic left tackles into the quarterback," Marinelli said of Crawford, who has four sacks, one off of his career high. "That's what he's done for us. Some other guy may get the sack here or there, but he's collapsing that pocket."
David Irving will not play in New York Giants game - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Like Justin Durant and Orlando Scandrick, David Irving did not make the trip to New York.
Irving suffered a concussion during the team’s win over the Washington Redskins last Thursday. While he’s had longer than the usual week to heal and come back from it, concussions are scary business and can’t at all be predicted.
This would be the first game that David Irving will miss for the Cowboys this season that isn’t suspension-related. He was sidelined for the first four games and has come on strong ever since.
DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Anthony Hitchens ... it's possible two of the three might not be back in 2018 - SportsDay
In a recent chat, Jon Machota addressed some of the pending Cowboys free agents.
Machota: It is possible that only two of the four are still in Dallas next season. However, it's possible that all four are back, too. In order of most likely to be playing for the Cowboys next season: Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Anthony Hitchens. Martin was an easy No. 1 because he can't go anywhere. He's under contract for one more season. The Cowboys won't let him hit free agency. I expect a long term deal to get done this offseason. I've said all along that I think Lawrence will get the franchise tag. No reason to think any differently now. They've been waiting for a while to get another elite pass rusher. Makes no sense to let one go when he's in his prime. Irving is a restricted free agent so the Cowboys will get a chance to match any offer. Like with Lawrence, unless bidding gets out of control, Dallas will do everything to bring him back. The coaches love Hitchens and he loves playing for the Cowboys. Only way he doesn't come back is if a team offers him an enormous contract the Cowboys just can't match.
Dallas Cowboys to unveil new uniform look vs. Giants - Todd Archer, ESPN
You'd think that after almost 60 years, we'd have seen every possible color combination for the Cowboys. Apparently not.
With the New York Giants wearing all-white Color Rush uniforms Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will break out a new look for the first time in franchise history: navy jerseys and white pants with their silver helmets.
The Cowboys have worn a navy-and-white combination early in their history and when they would wear throwback uniforms, but those were with white helmets.
Mailbag: Sunday’s Game Plan? - Bryan Broaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
The Giants pass rush and the wether figure heavily on on the minds of Broaddus and Helman in their mailbag.
BRYAN: You better be able to block this Giants defense front, which at times they haven’t. I will say this, you can make plays against this secondary throwing if you can keep Pierre-Paul and Vernon off Prescott.
DAVID: I worry a little bit about the weather conditions in this game. It’s going to be cold and windy, and it might even snow. That doesn’t sound like the ideal conditions to throw in. With that in mind, I’d look toward the ground game early and often against a run defense that ranks last in the league.

Sunday likely Giant celebration of Eli, but also reminder of lost season - Art Stapleton, Northjersey.com
Giants fans are getting their hopes up about getting the guy back who led the team to nine losses.
The billboards — "Big Blue Shame on You" — that popped up along North Jersey highways last week have been replaced by some that now read "Believe" with the letters "ELI" in red while the rest of the lettering is in white.
The outpouring of emotion has put somewhat of a different spin on a game that - from a football perspective - should remain as yet another reminder of the Giants' lost season.
Sure, Manning getting reinstalled as the starting quarterback was the right move, even though it's still prudent for the franchise to see what rookie Davis Webb can do in game action has before the season is over.
Big Blue is a shell of the team that went into Arlington, Texas with a ton of optimism three months ago, only to be humbled by a score of 19-3.
Sunday Morning QB: Giants fans in love with Eli again - Gary Myers, NY Daily News
Myers draws an interesting parallel between the Giants in 2017 and the Cowboys in 1989.
It’s funny how the fans have warmed up to Eli again only because McAdoo, considered an outsider by Big Blue Nation, was the one to bench him and Smith, the Jets castoff, was the one to replace him.
The avalanche of emotion reminds me of Cowboys fans who were down on Tom Landry during a 3-13 season in 1988 and desperately wanted Tex Schramm to fire him. But when Jerry Jones bought the team two months after the season and dumped the only coach in Cowboys history, they were outraged because some oil guy from Arkansas came in and did it. He became the real life ruthless J.R. Ewing.
Landry was thrown a “Hats Off To Tom Landry,” parade two months later in downtown Dallas with many of the 100,000 people who lined the route the same ones who had been calling the radio shows pleading for him to be fired.
Will 2017 Giants set franchise record for futility vs. Cowboys? - James Kratch, NJ.com
When it rains, it pours.
The Giants are 2-10 this season, but 0-8 in the NFC. That ties the worst start to conference play for the franchise since the NFL-AFL merger. They began the 1976 at 0-8 as well. A loss to the Cowboys will set a new franchise record for conference futility to start a season. The Giants have three home games left this season, which gives them three chances to avoid their first 1-7 finish in home games since 2003, the last time they won fewer than six games in a season (4-12).
No wiggle room as 'playoffs start now' for Dallas Cowboys No wiggle room as 'playoffs start now' for Dallas Cowboys Reviewed by Tzuki on 1:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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