For the first time in the history of Sunday Night Football on NBC, which dates back to 2006, the Dallas Cowboys have been flexed out of the timeslot. The Cowboys are traditionally the biggest ratings draw in the NFL, but at 3-9, going up against the 5-7 San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, NBC opted to flex in the New York Giants-Cleveland Browns game, which has significant playoff ramifications now.
The Giants are also 5-7, but are playing inspired football of late and lead the NFC East. The Browns are 9-3, and are in very good shape for one of the AFC Wild Card spots.
For most 3-9 teams, a flex off of Sunday Night Football wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Still, given what the Dallas Cowboys mean nationally, this was a pretty big moment. Head coach Mike McCarthy even reacted to the news.
“Number one, I think it’s a reflection of where we are right now as a football team,” he said Wednesday, according to ProFootballTalk. “I mean, these are the types of things that I guess happen when you’re not successful. We’re disappointed, make no bones about it.”
Cowboys “disappointed” to be flexed out of Sunday Night Football for first time ever https://t.co/KRPoKsZq9r
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 10, 2020
Per the ProFootballTalk report, the Cowboys’ two Sunday Night Football appearances this year are the fewest they’ve ever had in a single season. Neither of those games were at home either.
Dallas played at the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, and at the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8.
Between the general struggles, and the devastating season-ending injury to Dak Prescott a few weeks into the year, this first season under McCarthy has been a disaster for the Dallas Cowboys. If we know anything, it is that Jerry Jones won’t sit idly by once this season is through. It will be fascinating to see how he reacts to this entire year.
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