Cowboys play to their paper, demolish Niners in California

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Dak Prescott /

The Dallas Cowboys came out and smashed an inferior team. This is a significant morale boost as they enter the toughest stretch of their schedule.

First thing’s first, the Dallas Cowboys deserve a lot of credit for yesterday’s convincing win. When you go on the road, roll up forty, give up ten, and dominate in every phase of the game, that’s more like it. Of course, this was the moribund 49ers and their 0-6 record (now 0-7). But given the state of Dallas football this year, a victory of this magnitude can only serve to boost confidence.

Building upon the previous two games, the offense looked fantastic. Quarterback Dak Prescott continued to squash any notion of a dreaded sophomore slump. His four total touchdowns were alone enough for the win. But when suspended-not-suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott chipped in 272 yards total offense and three touchdowns of his own, the win became a mere formality.

Moreover, isn’t life a little easier when the defense forces a turnover or two? The simple fact of the matter is the Cowboys turned in a total team effort and kicked a bad team up and down the field for three hours. Now, is the run defense still leaky? Sure. Were there still a few too many receivers running free in the secondary? You bet. But even then, we cannot trifle with the end result. A win is a win, and we’ll take it.

So that’s the good news. The more sobering news is the schedule for the next four weeks. It starts with a critical divisional match up versus Washington next Sunday. That game promises to be a shootout, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it plays out like the Green Bay game. In other words, last team with the ball wins.

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Unfortunately–and in rapid-fire succession–the Chiefs, Falcons, and Eagles follow. The combined records of the next four opponents is 16-8, and that includes the Falcons’ somewhat baffling 3-3 mark after getting humbled by New England last night. Tonight’s pending tilt between Washington and Philadelphia will alter that win-loss ratio a little, but not enough to make the next four weeks any less daunting. Couple in Elliott’s continued dalliance with the NFL disciplinary arm, and you have the potential of this stretch of games making or breaking their season.

Now it is all doom and gloom if the Cowboys underwhelm during this four game run? Not entirely. I mean, you want them breaking even at the very least. 3-1 would be awesome. 4-0 would have everyone talking Super Bowl again, but let’s not get ahead ourselves here. Anything below .500 would most certainly be cause for sky-is-falling panic, and rightfully so.

But let’s say they split the two road games and win both home games. Again, given the shaky nature of the defense, nothing’s set in stone, but let’s just speculate. That puts them at 6-4 and firmly in control of their own destiny. Sure, the offense won’t be the same without Zeke, but a committee approach by Alfred Morris, Rod Smith, and Darren McFadden isn’t exactly chopped liver. They can still score enough points to win on a weekly basis.

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The uncertainly permeating this year’s team is the uneasy constant. So instead of letting it cloud our judgement, we may as well embrace it. There are too many games left to play. Injuries and slumps occur. Suspensions may or may not take effect. Gaining a berth in the tournament is the only goal. For better or for worse, the Dallas Cowboys just need to be themselves and let the chips fall where they may.