It’s an excessively other really feel for the Dallas Cowboys this week. After a really terrible appearing to open the season, made worse through accidents to Dak Prescott and different key contributors of the roster, the depleted squad got here out and controlled an dissatisfied win over the Cincinnati Bengals, who simply performed within the Tremendous Bowl. The temper surrounding the workforce is unexpectedly method up. However no longer everyone seems to be so certain the Cowboys have utterly grew to become a nook. Our David Howman and Tom Ryle provide their issues of view.
David: After popping out in Week 1 and getting molly-whopped, the largest query for the Cowboys used to be whether or not the offense used to be in point of fact simply that unhealthy or if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been that excellent. Since Week 1 is ripe for overreactions, many across the country opted for the previous, however Week 2 introduced robust proof to reinforce the latter. No longer simplest did the Cowboys glance markedly higher offensively in opposition to the Bengals, and with out their franchise quarterback as well, however the Buccaneers protection bottled up a skilled Saints offense in equivalent model.
Remember the fact that, I’m feeling lovely positive after this win. Going into the Bengals recreation, I had famous a couple of spaces the place the Cowboys may stake out benefits over their opponent to earn the win. And in a little bit of a wonder, they in reality did all of the ones issues. In recent times that’s turn into uncommon for this franchise. I’m no longer in a position to get over excited and say this workforce can contend for a Tremendous Bowl, however the season – and the race within the NFC East – continues to be very a lot alive.
Tom: I loved the win up to any individual, however there are causes I’m nonetheless booking judgment. First is that we need to see Cooper Rush take care of some consistency from week to week. There were a number of different circumstances of backup quarterbacks coming and being the hero one recreation, simplest to vanish as different groups ready for them. Rush is solely an unknown in that facet. If he can seem like he did in opposition to the Bengals, particularly the primary two drives, all neatly and excellent.
This is a large if, and it carefully pertains to some other factor I’m holding a skeptical eye on. After calling the ones spectacular landing drives, Kellen Moore gave the impression to turtle, and the following loss of offense and scoring just about did the workforce in. A theme for my articles this week has been how he is far better with the primary 15 or so performs of a recreation, which can be deliberate out upfront, or scripted. After that, his resolution making turns out to drop off precipitously. Thankfully, the closing force redeemed him relatively, however he used to be all the way down to only a few choices at the playsheet with thus far to head and so little time closing. He merely has to get well in the midst of the sport for this workforce to have luck.
In the meantime, we’re nonetheless ready to peer if the offensive line will proceed to carry up and if any individual but even so Noah Brown, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz may also be dependable goals. You’ll additionally come with Tony Pollard in that staff, even if they nonetheless wish to get the ball in his palms extra. The younger receivers must step up, particularly with Schultz getting banged up. Now we’re seeing some other shuffle with Dennis Houston now at the follow squad. Confidently Michael Gallup is coming again quickly, however he would possibly wish to ramp up. There may be hope that Jalen Tolbert has additionally finished his personal procedure of having in a position. At the line, Matt Farniok is now the vulnerable hyperlink, and we don’t know what they’ll plan there. I believe they’re leaning not to making any vital adjustments till Connor McGovern comes again.
Towards the unexpected 2-0 Giants, they’ll must do extra to get a win.
David: I’ll cross forward and problem you at the perception that Kellen Moore were given conservative after the primary two drives. I’ve observed this complaint so much for the reason that recreation, and I perceive coming to that conclusion according to the consequences, however I simply don’t see it. Moore got here into this recreation with a plan to decide to the run, simply as he did closing week and simply because the Cowboys deliberate it to be within the offseason. At the first two drives, in addition to the force proper ahead of halftime that yielded a box purpose, the run performs had been operating neatly. In their six drives that didn’t lead to issues, 5 of them concerned performs with large losses (runs blown up within the backfield, sacks, incompletions on first down) that led to 3rd and lengthy eventualities. Dallas additionally engineered a in point of fact excellent force within the 3rd quarter that ended with a Schultz fumble.
I believe what some are calling conservative play calling is only a reaction to how this offense now operates. The losses at vast receiver and philosophical shift to a run heavy offense interprets into much less alternatives to attain issues, which is a sexy drastic shift for a unit that led the NFL in issues a 12 months in the past. Remove Dak Prescott and the impact turns into a little bit extra pronounced, however the harsh fact is that the entrance place of work spent all summer time construction an offense that isn’t designed to attain a lot. If Moore needs to place up issues in a rush he has to get ingenious with the play designs, however we killed him for doing that agaisnt Tampa too.
To me, the largest query heading into Week 2 used to be whether or not or no longer Moore may adapt his play calling to house his backup quarterback, one thing he didn’t do in 2020. That 12 months, in video games with out Prescott, the Cowboys had been twenty eighth within the NFL in offensive EPA/play. In a single recreation with Rush this 12 months, they had been sixteenth in offensive EPA/play. It’s clearly an excessively small pattern dimension, however for per week Moore confirmed me that this offense can continue to exist with out Prescott for a couple of weeks. And with the protection and particular groups taking a look like they’ve, that’s were given me feeling lovely positive.
Tom: I’ll provide you with just a little in your protection of Moore, however the ones failed early downs are partially on him as neatly.
Now the protection particularly is a supply of hope, as they’ve two times held some lovely explosive devices from closing 12 months below 20 issues. They did so closing recreation with out Jayron Kearse, who’s the sort of large a part of the protection. so that also is very encouraging. The move rush is taking a look like the whole lot we was hoping for. Micah Parsons is appearing 0 indicators of a sophomore droop and has already begun a marketing campaign for Defensvie Participant of the Yr.
However this season continues to be going to hinge on what they are able to do offensively. I used to be nervous to peer how Prescott carried out in Week 1, however I will be able to hope that used to be only a unhealthy day on the place of work, and he doesn’t string lots of the ones in combination. It’s nonetheless going to return all the way down to the issues we nervous about all offseason, the receiver corps and the offensive line. The ones are very a lot works in growth, and we will have to be expecting rising pains. The problem now’s not to let the ones mixed with the early accidents make them fall in the back of in what’s unexpectedly an excessively difficult taking a look department.
I’ll hope for the most productive, however as I’ve stated all 12 months, I will be able to imagine it after I see it.
David: We’ll in finding out much more this Monday when the Cowboys play their first divisional recreation of the 12 months. However within the period in-between, I’ll be chugging the Kool-Support.