The Dallas Cowboys had quite an adventure on Sunday, fumbling four times in the opening frame of their early-afternoon matchup against the Atlanta Falcons and going down 20 points before mounting a truly wild comeback. On the legs and tattoo choices of Ezekiel Elliott and a drive by Dak Prescott (aided by one of the worst onside kick blunders in recent memory), Dallas managed to squeak out a 40-39 victory in a game they had no business winning.
It was, if anything, quite an exciting game. Such games lead to strong emotions after the fact, as demonstrated below by Dan Orlovsky stating he believes the Cowboys saved their season through their comeback against Atlanta.
Let us suppose, in an alternate universe, that Dallas lost this game. That Atlanta became the 441st team in NFL history to win a game in which they score 39 points while not turning the ball over. The Cowboys would be sitting at 0-2 on the year with a trip to Seattle awaiting them in Week 3. With the way the Seahawks are playing, this alternate universe very likely has the Cowboys with an 0-3 record after three weeks of football. That is not ideal.
But the Cowboys' schedule gets significantly easier after Week 3 because they start playing their divisional games. After Seattle, the Cowboys go up against the Browns, Giants, Cardinals, the Washington Football Team, and Eagles, in that order. The Cardinals are the only team of those five who have looked anywhere above average at some point this season. So while coming off a tough home loss to play Seattle wouldn't be ideal, the next five weeks are easy enough that Dallas could have recovered.
Despite what Orlovsky said, this is a little bit of a hot take. But football is often more than a simple equation. The mental impact of blowing a winnable game with self-inflicted wounds (like four fumbles) is unquantifiable. For this Cowboys team especially with all of the expectations propping up the roster, morale would have been low if they went winless in the opening weeks of the season.
So, the Cowboys' season would not have been over had they failed to come back against Atlanta. But the situation would feel much more dire if they did.