Mike McCarthy’s team hosts the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon. And the Dallas Cowboys’ veteran wideout for the naysayers.
The Dallas Cowboys finished 12-5 and won the NFC East for the first time since 2018. Mike McCarthy’s team led the NFL in scoring with a robust 530 points. And a club that gave up the most points in a season in franchise history (473) a year ago knocked that down by 115 points (358) – with one extra game played.
But there are those out there who apparently feel that this week’s opponent on Wild Card Sunday – the San Francisco 49ers – may not be the best team for Dallas to take on.
And that’s where Cowboys’ wideout Amari Cooper has some issues.
The doubt is certainly warranted if you look at the numbers. McCarthy’s team was just 5-3 at home in 2021. Outside of the division, Dallas was a mere 6-5. But to be fair, four of those setbacks were to the playoff-bound Buccaneers, Raiders, Chiefs and Cardinals.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys were a perfect 6-0 vs. their NFC East rivals this season and outscored them by a combined 240-107 count.
So is the team’s record and numbers a product of their division? That’s certainly the question and perhaps the reason many feel that Kyle Shanahan’s club – who closed the season with wins in seven of their last nine outings are a 3-5 start – are perhaps playing better football at the moment?
It may also be a matter of style. Only six teams in the league finished with more rushing yards than the Niners. On the other hand, while Dallas led the league with 34 takeaways, Dan Quinn’s defensive unit ranked 16th in the NFL vs. the run.
Or maybe it’s the fact that the 49ers are just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance? That’s somewhere the Cowboys haven’t been since 1995.
In any case, regardless of where this disrespect of sorts is coming from, it has obviously caught the attention of Cooper.