Dallas Cowboys will be in the NFL playoffs in 2014 if…

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It has been quite a recent run for the Dallas Cowboys.

More like a jog…with a limp.

Dating back to 1997, the club that Jerry Jones bought that now plays in the house than Jones built owns a combined 136-136 regular-season record over the past 17 seasons. During that span, Dallas has won 10 or more games just four times, posted double-digit loss seasons on six occasions, own a 1-6 postseason record, employed six different head coaches and started 15 different starting quarterbacks.

It’s not getting any better as of late. Since capturing the NFC East with an 11-5 mark in 2009, Jones’ squad is a combined 30-34 and has failed to post a winning record or reach the playoffs each of the last four seasons. And unfortunately for head coach Jason Garrett, his team has been the model of mediocre consistency.

Call it monotony. Dallas has finished with an 8-8 record three consecutive years. The memories of three Super Bowl wins in a four-year span are fading steadily.

Still, it’s another year and this is not a team that lacks talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But it always takes a team effort if you’re going to hoist that Lombardi Trophy in February. And these days, the NFC East has been less than daunting considering that it has taken 10 wins or less to win the division each of the last four seasons.

This is the 16th part of a 32-team series in which we’ll look at the “if, and & but’s” of each team’s chances to make the postseason.

Hence, Dallas will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2009…

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Dez Bryant Jason Garrett Jason Witten Jerry Jones Justin Durant Lists NFL Rod Marinelli Sean Lee Tony Romo

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