The Dallas Cowboys may be poised for one of the most disappointing seasons in years.
Not because they have played terrible all year and certainly not because the playoffs were only a laughable goal.
No, by all accounts the Cowboys have really stepped up this season.
The problem is that with their humiliating at home loss to rivals the Philadephia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves having to play catch up at a dangerous point in the NFL season.
Following the 33-10 defeat, the Dallas Cowboys were bounced out of they playoff spot as the Detriot Lions and Seatle Seahawks rose to 8-4 this week.
Both teams have better stats than the Cowboys, who are now in danger of just missing out on the playoffs.
A near miss for this improved Dallas team would perhaps be even more painful for fans than the years of not expecting a post-season showing.
— NFL (@nfl) November 28, 2014
But perhaps it's too soon to write off the Dallas Cowboys for good after their Thanksgiving face-plant.
After all, there are four games left for the Cowboys to redeem themselves.
One of those games includes a trip to Philadelphia to face the Eagles again.
The Dallas Cowboys may find themselves inspired to get revenge.
Speaking of revenge, the Dallas Cowboys are due to meet the Washington Redskins at the end of the season. That could be the game that decides their playoff picture.
Until then, the Dallas Cowboys and their fans will have to hope that the devastating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles is not merely the beginning of a painfully familiar pattern.
What usually happens is that the Cowboys' season takes an embarrassing nosedive during the last several games of the football season.
It's why their playoff prospects have been so grim in recent years.
Despite a promising turnaround after a lousy start to the season, it will all come down to how the Cowboys weather these final four games.
The Dallas Cowboys cannot count on their NFC rivals for a playoff spot to do worse if they are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.