The Dallas Cowboys are not a good football team in the year 2020. In fact, they are the worst in the NFC. That's not entirely their fault, given Dak Prescott's season-ending injury that could have happened to anybody. But the reality is the Cowboys stink, to the sheer joy of the rest of the NFL's fans.
But they were supposed to be pretty good, which is partly why they were given five primetime games this year. The other part of that equation is that the Cowboys are the biggest draw for casual viewers and have an extremely large and loyal fanbase. They are ratings beasts with no equal in the NFL viewership game. Even when the 'Boys are bad, every one of their games will have tens of millions watching.
So it should say a lot when the Cowboys get flexed out of a primetime game, as was announced today. Adam Schefter reported the Dallas-San Francisco game that was originally scheduled for Sunday Night Football in Week 15 has been moved to an early afternoon slot. The replacement game? None other than the Cleveland Browns taking on the New York Giants.
Times truly are strange when the Cowboys are flexed out in favor of the Browns. And it makes sense, too! Browns-Giants could be hugely important to the playoff picture with New York currently holding the lead in the NFC East and the Browns battling for a wild-card spot and potentially the AFC North lead if the Steelers drop a few more games. That is significantly more meaningful, one might say, than watching the Cowboys and Niners duke it out for draft positioning, though the 49ers do have an outside shot at the playoffs.
NBC is probably fine with this because the Giants are a big draw too and Celevland's fanbase has always been loyal. Add in the importance of the game, and the all-important ratings will likely even out despite the absence of the Cowboys. It's still remarkable that Dallas was flexed out, though. It speaks to how bad they've been, that's for sure.
2020 just keeps coming at us, doesn't it?