After a tragic day for the Cowboys and the rest of the NFL that resulted in Jerry Brown sadly passing away and Josh Brent arrested and charged with manslaughter, today’s game will be played with heavy hearts. It’s not easy to talk about a tragedy that ended a life and then transition into football, but the players are all forced to do it today, the Chiefs were forced to do it last week, and it just reminds me of the famous line by The Beatles, “O-bla-di, o-bla-da, life goes on”.
Today’s game will be an emotional game, but it also an extremely important game for both sides. The Cowboys are 6-6 and are one game behind the Giants for the division lead, and one game behind the Seahawks for the final NFC Wildcard spot. The Bengals are currently tied at 7-5 with the Steelers for the final AFC Wildcard spot, but if the season ended now, they would miss the playoffs as a result of losing the tie breaker to the Steelers. This game has huge playoff implications for both teams, the winner will be one game closer to making the post season, while the loser will need some help to make the playoffs.
The Cowboys have won three of their last four and are getting hot at the right time, but the Bengals have won their last four games. This game is primed to be a great game that can come down to the wire.
For the Bengals to win, they will need to do a good job of limiting Dez Bryant’s impact on the game, and not allow DeMarco Murray to get going. Additionally, the Bengals will need to keep lighting it up with Andy Dalton finding his receivers for big plays.