The fate of the 2020 Dallas Cowboys doesn’t lie in their hands alone. No, they’ll need help that might not be coming in order to make the playoffs. What they can control, however, is their own performance in Week 17 against the New York Giants.
Football is a team game of individual matchups. Players need to win their one-on-ones on every play in order to contribute to the greater good of the entire team. So even though statistics don’t directly correlate to wins, it’s still something when players reach certain milestones. Here’s a look at four of them within reach on the day.
Running Back Ezekiel Elliott
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Elliott has had a trying season, with six fumbles and a fanbase turning on him for his performance despite the state of the team in general being in the toilet. Still, for him to be on the precipice of another 1,000-yard season speaks volumes. Elliott needs 63 yards on the day to reach the millenium mark for the fourth time in his five NFL seasons. He also needs just one catch to reach 50 for the third consecutive season.
Tight End Dalton Schultz
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
This isn't so much a Schultz milestone as it is a Kellen Moore one. If Schultz catches a touchdown pass on Sunday, he'll be the fourth Cowboys weapon this season to have 5 receiving TDs. The Cowboys' three-headed WR monster of CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already have five each. Schultz already has career highs with 56 receptions and 564 yards. The man throwing him the ball, Andy Dalton, needs just 74 passing yards to surpass the 2,000-yard marker for the 10th straight season.
Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb
(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
A big receiving day will put Lamb in great company (again). With 108 yards he'll reach 1.000 receiving on the season as a rookie. Lamb is just 112 yards away from having the most receiving yards as rookie in club history. Bob Hayes current record of 1.003 has stood for 55 years, set in 1965 in just 13 games.
Linebacker Jaylon Smith
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Volume stats are misleading for linebackers, but that doesn't mean they aren't still something to be proud of. Smith has 144 tackles on the season (80 solo, 64 assists). He needs just six more to have the most takedowns for the Cowboys since 1993. That season, Darren Woodson had 155. second to LB Ken Norton Jr.'s 159.