Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys Constantly Battled Tested

Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

 As soon as the Dallas Cowboys started their winning streak and shocking the NFL, each and every game has been seen as the litmus test for America’s Team.

The Dallas Cowboys have won 10 straight games and are now considered one of the best teams in the NFL. Depending on which expert you believe, the Cowboys are the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

…Or they’re an accident waiting to happen, according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take”.

Even though the Cowboys are on a winning streak and have beaten every team in its path, every game is somehow viewed as a new battle for the Cowboys.

Dak has a league-leading 86.2 QBR.

It’s either the Cowboys can’t win in Pittsburgh with a rookie quarterback, or Dallas’ running game will be tested when they face the Baltimore Ravens (ranked number one against the run).

Those are just some of the hurdles the Cowboys have had to clear during this winning streak.

Remember how the Cowboys were supposed to lose to the Green Bay Packers? How about when Dallas was picked to lose to the Washington Redskins in the second game of the season? What about the trap game against the lowly Cleveland Browns?

Remember that?

For some reason, the critics continue to place barriers up for Dallas, still not convinced this team is for real. With five games remaining in the regular season, I guess the Cowboys will have to blow out each opponent by 50 points to be viewed as the best team in the NFL.

The next battle for the Cowboys is tonight against the Minnesota Vikings. This time the focus is on rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, which has been the primary focus of every opponent since this winning streak started.

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The Vikings will be the best defense Dak has faced to this point, in terms of limiting total QBR (quarterback rating). Opposing QBs have under a 55 percent QBR when playing the Vikings defense.

Dak has a league-leading 86.2 QBR. That’s better than four-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, who is second with a 84.9 QBR.

Going into their 12th game of the season, this is nothing new for the Cowboys.

This team has defeated every team that posed a threat, whether it was facing a dominant defense or a potent offense.

Back in week 2 against the Redskins, critics wondered if Dak could lead the Cowboys to victory on the road against a divisional rival. Dak led the Cowboys to victory and the defense stepped up its game to seal the victory.

In some ways, that victory foreshadowed how Dallas would win the rest of its games, setting the tone for the rest of the season.  their battle cry.

For instance, Dak proved he could win an important divisional game on the road in a hostile environment; Zeke could recover from fumbling the ball, and the defense could make key stops in critical situations.

In reality, that’s been this team’s blueprint for success, not panicking and playing to the fullest extent.  When Dallas played the Packers at Lambeau Field, Dak played with poise, even as he threw his first interception of his young NFL career.

The team didn’t go into chaos, either. It regrouped and remained focused. Instead, the defense forced a fumble and got the ball back to the offense. The Cowboys are winning the small battles on the field and learning from their mistakes at the same time.

On one the hand, there is the big battle the Cowboys must deal with, like facing a Vikings stout defense. On the other hand, Dallas is winning the small battles, like Dak over coming a bad performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, only to led his team to a come from behind, overtime victory.

Another example is how well prepared this team is…like when the Redskins attempted an onside kick in on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas’ Damien Wilson recovered the ball and the team seized possession and field position.

Or when the Skins mounted a comeback, but offensive coordinator Scott Linehan called the right plays to convert first downs and end the game.

At the end of the day, these games have made the players confident, mentally tough, laser like focused, and the experience to win any type of game. Those are the traits of Super Bowl winners.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Where's the Weakness

Whether its overcoming a bad performance, facing potent offenses , dominant defenses, or playing in Heinz Field, the Cowboys keep winning and proving everyone wrong.

That’s because America’s Team is constantly being battled tested.