Whilst the Philadelphia Eagles are comfortably top of the NFC East with an 8-1 record, the current best in the entire NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are slowly moving into gear as the season moves past the mid-way point.
The Cowboys entered their bye week in mid-October coming off the back of two defeats, the impressive Rams taking the win in ‘Jerry’s House’ and the evergreen Aaron Rodgers leading the Green Bay Packers to a last gasp 35-31 win to leave Dallas with 2-3 record.
But on the other side of that bye week, the Cowboys have come back to form, winning all three games and scoring 28 points plus in each victory to put themselves back in contention to make the post season. With the other 3 NFC division all having winning records for their 2nd place teams, Dallas have to keep winning to keep pace for the play-off race or face under-achieving in light of last season’s efforts.
The win over the Chiefs on Sunday evening, coupled with success in Washington 7 days earlier saw a new side to the Dallas D, it can step up and make plays. Even earlier this season, the defense looked anything but able to force 3 and outs and give its offence the chance to win games. But, these past two weeks players have stepped up and joined the likes of Demarcus Lawrence, Sean Lee and David Irving in getting the D off the pitch quickly and getting points on the board.
Sunday was a prime example of how these Cowboys can play. Despite Zeke Elliott working a week to week basis with the 6 game suspension still to start, the Dallas running game is back to wearing other defences down and running the clock perfectly to suit the Cowboys. Dak Prescott threw for 249 yards and 2 TD’s, WR Terrance Williams caught 141 of those yards, Dez Bryant picked up 73 yards while slot receiver Cole Beasley caught 2 TD’s.
Even losing one of the NFL all time best kickers in Dan Bailey hasn’t knocked the Cowboys out of stride, Mike Nugent slotting through 4 from 4. That’s not to say things can’t change overnight which in the beauty of the NFL, can easily happen. After a trip to the 4-4 Atlanta Falcons this coming Sunday, Dallas have 3 home games, two divisional games against the runaway Eagles and fiercest rivals Washington, sandwiching the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day. 2 wins from 3 will put the Cowboys in a strong position going into December and the final straight.
This Sunday could potentially see Dallas without Elliott, Bryant and Williams through injury and suspension, but you would expect the 3 prong running back attack of McFadden, Morris and Smith, supplemented by WR’s Beasley and Butler and supported by tight end Jason Witten to prove too much for the Falcons and set the Cowboys up nicely for the primetime visit of the Eagles, that one will be some game not to miss!