Tony Romo

At 3-8 and with a quarterback that will struggle to throw the ball further than 10 yards, it’s hard to believe the Dallas Cowboys still believe they can make the playoffs. But they’re keeping Tony Romo available, just in case they do.

Romo hasn’t been placed on the injury reserve list which would have made him unavailable for the postseason as well because mathematically, considering how bad the NFC East is, they can still get in. As the team’s Vice President Stephen Jones put it: We’re competitors. Romo is looking at six to eight weeks of recovery, which should put him on schedule to get back for a Wild Card playoff game or maybe one week later.

And maybe the Cowboys aren’t being delusional. Of their 8 losses, six were games they could have won, with five ending with one possession between them and the other team. The only blowouts were against the New England Patriots (when Brandon Weeden was still with the team) and to the Carolina Panthers, Romo’s second game since his return, throwing three interceptions and re-injuring the collarbone. The other games were, despite their offensive struggles, completely winnable.

The NFC East has no teams with a winning record, or even at .500. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants are both at 5-6, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles at 4-7. The Cowboys split their season series with the Giants and Eagles, but have yet to play the Redskins, their next opponents. Beating Washington and hoping the Giants lose to the Jets would put the Cowboys only one game from the top spot in the division. Even a loss to Washington and falling to 3-9 won’t eliminate them completely from the running, although practically, they might be out already.

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