Dallas Cowboys: The formula is there to make a run

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have won the NFC East, clinched the fourth seed in the playoffs, and is clicking at the right time, spelling trouble for opposing teams in the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys have to be considered one of the surprised teams of the 2018 season. No disrespect to the Chicago Bears for rising up, winning the NFC North division, and locking up the third seed in the playoffs.

After the Bears acquired Khalil Mack, they automatically became a favorite to contend for the NFC North crown and make some noise the playoffs. Therefore, no surprises they’re a legitimate threat to dethrone the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

However, the Cowboys entered the 2018 season without such expectations. Dez was unceremoniously cut in April and Witten decided to follow in former quarterback Tony Romo footsteps and enter the broadcast booth.

In Dak’s third season, he’s won 31 games, two division titles, ROY honors (Rookie of the Year), won 12-prime time games, and has won a respectable amount of fourth quarter comeback games.

They lost former All Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant and future Hall of Famer Jason Witten and did very little to replace them. So basically the Cowboys began the 2018 season with a mediocre/below average receiving corps that put no fear in opposing defenses. As a result of this deficiency, the Dallas Cowboys started the season 3-5 with a top-10 lottery pick as its consolation prize. Head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were on the hot seat.

Well, that’s no longer the case because the Cowboys traded for former Oakland Raiders and disgruntled wide out, Amari Cooper, and now sit with a 9-6 record, a fourth seed in the upcoming playoffs, and a likely rematch with another surprise playoff team, the Seattle Seahawks.

With all of that being said, the Cowboys have the formula to wreak havoc in the playoffs and even make a surprising run to the Super Bowl.

Before you all bite my head off and have me drug tested, allow me to explain:

The Cowboys Offense

Dallas has the best running back in the NFL, a good offensive line, a young, talented, and experienced receiving corps, and a good quarterback (I’ll discuss that later). Despite Dallas being ranked 24th in the league in scoring points, this team scores enough points to win and is one of the best in the league in TOP (time of position).

If you need proof, go back and watch the Indianapolis Colts game where Dallas had several drives that ate up the clock. Dallas’ first drive was a 15 minute, nine-play drive that resulted in a blocked field goal.

But it was followed by a six minute drive, a nine minute drive, and an 11 minute drive. Dallas even added another six minute drive, and its shortest drive of the game was 1:34 seconds. Dallas finished the game with 28:12 in TOP, slightly behind the Colts 31:48.

Although Dallas didn’t score any points in that game, it wasn’t because of Indy’s defense. That had more to do with Garrett deciding not to kick makeable field goals and go for it on too many fourth downs.

With Dallas being one of the best in the league in TOP, all it needs to do is score enough points and turn it’s fate over to its talented defense. Dallas doesn’t need to out score opponents with 50 points to win. Scoring around 24 points is enough for this defense to secure a victory.

Dallas’ Defense

Dallas has a top-5 defense in the NFL, and one of the hardest hitting ones to boot. Finally, this team has a dominant front four with a couple of “War Daddies” in DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Those ferocious play makers attack quarterbacks like an alligator killing a wildebeest crossing the Nile River.

Then this defensive line unit is backed with a supporting cast of Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford (injured), Antwaun Woods, Daniel Ross and other proven talent.

The second layer of the defense is anchored by the best linebacking duo in the NFL with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Smith and LVE stuff running backs as if they stole from them. Combine the oft injured/magnificent Sean Lee, and Dallas’ linebacking corps is simply the best in tackling running backs and making big time plays.

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Dallas’ secondary may not be an interception machine, but Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones, Jourdan LewisXavier Woods, and Jeff Heath have all made big plays and/or delivered big hits when needed. And they play physically too – just ask the Saints receivers.

This defense is good at stopping the run, getting constant pressure on the quarterback, and capable of containing an elite high octane offense. Dallas’ defense halted the Saints high scoring offense to 10 points. That alone speak volumes about the how good this defense can play.

Dak Prescott

I want to preface my statement with I’m a Dak Prescott fan. Yes, I criticize him on a regular basis, even cussing at him when he makes a common mistake like holding onto the ball too long. But regardless of his flaws as a young, third year signal caller, Dak is an absolute winner.

Dak is a gamer. Period.

Cricits, NFL analysts, quarterback gurus alike,  can talk about Dak’s flaws until my hairline grows back, but the young man knows how to win .It’s that simple.

In Dak’s third season, he’s won 31 games, two division titles, ROY honors (Rookie of the Year), won 12-prime time games, and has won a respectable amount of fourth quarter comeback games.

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To put this into perspective, Dak has won 31 games without good offensive coaching on all levels.

Marinate on that for a second.

For example, Dak completed a perfect pass to Michael Gallup between two defenders on third and 12. Later on Dak connected with Gallup for a touchdown with another perfect pass. The point is those passes were game changers.

Who cares if Dak goes 20-25 for 161 yards as long as Dallas wins the game!

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Jason Garrett

Garrett has never been a great X and O’s coach, and probably will never be one.  Garrett excels at motivating his players before games with his speeches. Several players attribute their play to Garrett’s powerful and motivating speeches.

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Whether we like Garrett or not as a coach, the players give their all to Mr. Clapper. And Mr. Clapper turned around a 3-5 team to win the NFC East. I’ll give credit when credit is due.

With all of these intangibles, Dallas has the right formula to make a run to the Super Bowl.

  • Published on 12/28/2018 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 12/28/2018 at 10:18 AM