Context is something that is always required to understand what information you are looking at and how much of what seems real can actually be believed. Context tells us if all of this money that our paycheck contains is actually surplus, or whether it has been earmarked for other purposes already. Context tells us if losing 5 pounds is either the destination or the start of the journey.
And that is why in this particular win over that particular team, it might require some context to examine what December may have in store for the 2012 Dallas Cowboys. Yes, it was a season sweep against a hated rival and a 3rd divisional win in 5 games. But, can we read anything more into it other than the fact that they beat a bad team that cannot wait for things to end in 2012 and a team whose fans now fear wins because it destroys their draft position? They beat a team who knows it is about to be burned to the ground and its remnants will be scattered. Can that truly tell us anything?
Yes, it was an offensive performance that exceeded the 400 yard barrier that used to be a guarantee of winning for the Cowboys under Tony Romo. Did you know that of the first 21 times that the Cowboys gained 400 yards of offense under Romo, the team was 20-1? It is because they were a team that struck fear in the hearts of their opponents from 2006-2009. A team that was versatile and dangerous in the way it attacked you. An offense that created the classic conflicts in the defense where whatever they choose to key on will be the wrong answer. An most importantly, they were an offense that carried the tempo of the game to you from the opening kickoff on. They decided the pace and dictated the style, rather than a team that presently has the game dictated to them.
Since those first 21 times the Cowboys have hit 400 yards in the Romo era, they have accomplished the feat 18 more times (including last night). These 18 games, from 2010-2012, have been decidedly different in their creation. With the win, they are now 8-10 when they get to 400 yards of offense in the last 3 seasons, and the reason is that yards are not always yards. Context comes in here and slaps us in our face because sometimes yards are gained during furious rallies that are accumulated against prevent defenses.
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