Greetings sports fans and welcome once again to Vegas Valley Sports Beat, the little sports column that proves you simply cannot keep a cowboy down for long. I have been on sabbatical leave from the sports desk here at Vegas Valley News due to health and other unrelated issues related to connectivity. If you’ve ever broken or lost your primary smartphone and WiFi at the same time then you can relate. If not there’s always football.

The New York Jets are getting smacked around pretty bad because the New England Patriots are seeking a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Brady Bunch look to have a fairly good chance as they lead 7-3 and are driving inside the Jets red zone at the top of the second quarter. make that 14-3 Brady just found Rex Burkhead #34 in the end zone for his second TD pass of the game. Make that 21-3 at 11:03 in the second quarter. Nuff said.

Speaking of football let’s turn our attention now to the NFL playoff picture and look to the NFC East where the division-leading 9-6 Dallas Cowboys who are battling the 5-10 New York Giants As this goes to press the score is 7-0 Dallas

The starting lineup looks healthy enough and the Giants are sure to have their work cut out for them for the duration. The lowdown online has the Cowboys favored to win but all of the pundits agree that the team will likely rest key players in preparation for round one next week and I concur.

Nick Eatman: This one isn’t as easy to call because we’re hearing all this stuff about the Cowboys saying they will play to win this game. But there have been signs all week, especially with Friday’s injury report that suggest some key players might not play the entire game. This has a feel that the Cowboys are trying to be smart, rather than trying to win this game at all costs. Don’t forget the Giants defeated the Bears a few weeks ago at home. They’re still playing pretty well and trying to win games. I think they wouldn’t mind ending their season with a win over Dallas. I see the Giants winning this game 20-13.

Lindsay Draper: Cowboys are getting the call for the W from me, and it won’t even matter who ends up playing! It almost feels silly to write about this week’s matchup, when all of us are really thinking about potential playoff matchups. But truly, I think the Giants are checked out and daydreaming about that plane ticket to their booked vacations. Take this as an opportunity to scout out the future in the young Giants players B.J. Hill, Will Hernandez, and of course Saquon Barkley. Cowboys win with their young players and move to a 10-6 finish on the regular season –the record I predicted back at training camp. (My consolation prize for a rough Year 1 in my Gut Feeling record.)

The LA Chargers have clinched their berth in the big showdown for a ticket to Super Bowl  @

That is to say, I concurred until it became obvious that someone neglected to tell the Dallas Cowboys that they were going to rest on their laurels. Dallas rose to the challenge from a determined New York offensive defensive one-two punch that quickly turned into a good old-fashioned gridiron dogfight right down to the wire. With 1:19 to play on fourth and 15 the Cowboys were in a do or die situation and elected to go for the win. Dak Prescott rifled a bullet into the hands of Cole Beasley 32 yards to the far side of the end zone.

The official ruling on the field was an out of bounds pass and it was so close even to my own eye whether Beasley came down in bounds or not that the camera had to be called upon to make certain. The ruling was subsequently reversed when the replay showed Cole Beasley ball in grasp touch and his foot dragging smoke in the end zone.

With the score now 34-35 Giants, Dallas lined up for a 2 point conversion. Dak Prescott rolled out right and hit Michael Gallup on the numbers to make the score 36-35 Dallas with 1:12 left on the clock for the Giant’s offensive unit to win the field but failed to reach the goal in the face of a pouncing defensive line and excellent pass defense

This same team has shown on many occasions their ability to execute as a unit on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Entering the postseason on the momentum of having won 7 of their last 8 games Dallas faces the first round of the playoffs having begun the season at 3-5.

Along the way, they defeated the New Orleans Saints against all odds and then swept the Eagles off of their lofty perch thus ending Philadelphia’s undeniably irksome habit of knocking Dallas out of playoff contention in the past.

This afternoon they sent the New York Giants and the fans of the NFL a message that they’re ready to ride and Da Boyz are coming to play next Sunday.

To Mister and Misses America and to all the ships at sea, salute.