A gutsy win against Philadelphia answered a lot of questions about how good the Cowboys are, but it left us with a lot of other questions to answer.
First, the Dallas Cowboys had no business winning the game against Philly. None. But a good team finds ways to win games they aren’t supposed to and that’s exactly what the Cowboys did on Sunday.
For anyone asking if the Cowboys are for real this season, this last game should answer that question…ten fold. There is no doubt now that the Dallas Cowboys are for real and looking like the best team in the NFC.
Unfortunately, the game has left us all with a lot of new questions that now need answers. The health of the defense, the performance of Dak Prescott, the mental mistakes, and defensive lapses are just some of the questions that arose.
Make no mistake; the Cowboys are for real, there are just some new things that have surfaced.
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The injuries to Morris Claiborne and Barry Church are questions in themselves. Both should be out for a few weeks, and that means J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, and Anthony Brown should see considerably more play time. It appears the Cowboys should be able to absorb Claiborne’s injury a little better than that of Church. Wilcox and Heath are liabilities in coverage, and both tend to miss tackles. The upside is the only receiving corps that should worry the Cowboys is the Steelers. The Browns, Ravens, Redskins, and Vikings aren’t exactly a murderers row of receiving corps.
The biggest issue perhaps was the overall play of Dak Prescott. Yes, he led the team down the field and won the game.
The issue is Prescott looked bad most of the night.
He was over and under throwing receivers, missing open receivers, and looked shaken when the pressure was in his face. He is a rookie quarterback, but the Cowboys need to hope that this isn’t the tape the league needs to start figuring him out.
The play of Prescott against the Eagles did nothing more than fuel the fire that is the quarterback discussion surrounding him and Tony Romo. Romo has more experience and a better ability to read defenses at the line. It just comes from playing as long as he has. Prescott looks to be the quarterback of the future. When the Cowboys need someone to identify defenses they may have to make the call back to Romo. Time will tell what they do.
On the defensive side of the ball against the Eagles, there were some things to cause worry. The Eagles were killing the Cowboys on quick slants and using Darren Sproles out of the backfield. While Dallas adjusted as the game went on, there needs to be some work done on defense to slow down offenses from doing what the Eagles were able to do.
The defense has outperformed all expectations this season. Dallas needs to continue to find a pass rush or find new ways to bring pressure. The use of Sean Lee and Orlando Scandrick as blitzers worked against Philadelphia, but their wide receivers are not good enough to make a defense pay for sending an extra man. Where the pass rush will come consistently has been a lingering question, and the Philly game just adds fuel to the fire.
With a week until the Cowboys face the Browns, then the grueling Thanksgiving game cycle starts. Garrett and crew have to answer questions quickly to maintain their status as the best team in the NFC. There is one answer we all know; Ezekiel Elliot was worth the fourth pick.