Don’t let anyone fool you; this is a huge football game today for the Dallas Cowboys. A team that was virtually given an uncontested walk into the Super Bowl by media and experts alike prior to the season is now on the verge of falling into last place in the NFC East.

Today’s game vs. Tampa Bay represents the 1st of three big tests for the Cowboys. After Tampa, they get the Giants in New York and the Redskins in Washington. There’s an outside chance they’ll have QB Tony Romo back for the Redskins game, which is after the bye, but realistically, this team is staring 4-6 right in the face. And if they do fall to two games under .500, things will get very ugly in down in Big D.

They’d be two games behind the Redskins (at the very least) with two head-to-head losses, and with its loss to NY, they’d fall even further behind the division leaders while Philly, sitting at 3-3, is now heading into its easy part of the schedule and has the ability to make some headway with Westbrook back in the fold.

Unfortunately for Jerry Jones, who recently mortgaged the near future to get WR Roy Williams in an attempt to solidify this team’s chances at a Super Bowl, things are looking very bleak… almost as bleak and the US economic situation. While the US is waiting for the bailout to take effect, everyone in Dallas is waiting for their own “bailout” to take effect in the form of Tony Romo returning.

When reports surface that he’s out until mid-November minimum, we don’t think they’re false. If they rush Romo back, they risk losing their star QB for the rest of the season if he damages that pinkie further, so it’s better to take their chances for at least the next two games to see what transpires before calling #9’s number. If the team does end up 4-5, they’ll have no choice but to expedite Romo’s return to try and salvage the season.

So as the Cowboys head into Sunday’s game, don’t look at this match-up as just another game at the midpoint of the season, which oh by the way is vs. a very tough, disciplined team. For Dallas, it’s virtually a do or die situation because if they lose, which we think will happen, they’ll sit at 4-4 with two scary match-ups on the horizon. And should they lose both of those games to fall to 4-6, they’ll put themselves in a near impossible position of trying to overcome a huge deficit to earn a post season berth.

That’s why today’s game is big. Much bigger than for most at this junction in the season.

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