Dallas Cowboys: Why this reality check will benefit them greatly

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

To the begin the season, the Dallas Cowboys jumped out to an impressive 6-1 record, averaging over 30 points a game and garnering franchise quarterback Dak Prescott MVP consideration.

The Cowboys defense is one of the best in the league at forcing turnovers. Second-year corner Trevon Diggs leads the NFL in interceptions with seven, Randy Gregory is the elite pass rusher/War Daddy we all knew him to be, and rookie sensational linebacker Micah Parsons is ultra-talented who rounds out an opportunistic defense.

So when you combine a high-octane offense with a revamped defense you get a legit Super Bowl contender.

The Dallas Cowboys were riding high on a six-game winning streak and felt invincible until their reality check.

From Cowboys Nation to the talking heads on sports radio, everyone hyped the Dallas Cowboys up as one of the best teams in the league, and basically, the team to beat. When notorious Cowboys’ hater Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take” said  the Cowboys were the number one team in the league, I knew the expectations were beyond real and the fall from grace would be louder than Stephen A. Smith’s loud mouth.

And as predicted, critics like SAS (Stephen A. Smith) celebrated Dallas’ loss to Broncos like a 4th of July party, and immediately claimed Dallas as frauds. Guess what…it is a good thing for this team because now they can get back to the basics, regroup, refocus, and concentrate on  fixing their flaws.

The big picture moving forward is for this team not walk around like they are unbeatable while carrying the invincibility flag against a perceived inferior foe like the Broncos.

The Broncos beat Dallas like they were a last place team and not one of the better ones in the NFL. Now that’s a reality check.

Let’s be honest for a minute. Dallas needed this wakeup call because they truly hadn’t been challenged by multiple scores or asked to climb their way out of a deep hole up to this point. Except everything they tried to do to get out of that rabbit hole didn’t work in their favor.

Prior to the Broncos debacle, Dallas had been in every game. In other words, last Sunday their strengths were minimized, they could not find a resolution to stop the Broncos, and their self-inflicted wounds compounded the issue (dropped passes, blocked punt miscues, not setting the edge on defense, and pass interferences).

As a result of this mess, hopefully this “wakeup call” allows Dallas’ offense to be better prepared in the future. Dallas’ defense is built to play with a lead and not from behind – especially not in a three-touchdown deficit.

The one beauty of this “wakeup call” is that Dallas firmly understands now that you cannot just plug in a Terence Steele to replace All Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and expect the same results. Steele has played magnificently at right tackle and that is where he belongs. Period. Find another suitable candidate like La’el Collins or Zack Martin.

As much as I like Mike McCarthy being aggressive and going for it on fourth down, there are times when taking the points is the easier option, especially when facing a stingy defense. Coach Big Mac is so confident and has had so much success converting fourth downs that he does not even think about the consequences if they’re not converted. Just because Dallas has the offensive weapons to convert fourth downs does not mean you should always do it. Learn to either punt the ball away or kick a field goal.

The Denver game should be a lesson not to give an opposing team more motivation to beat you by repeatedly testing them on fourth downs. That is being overconfident and hardheaded. My Gawd!

To date, Dallas’ defense’s best game was against the Minnesota Vikings because it forced the Vikings to go1 for 13 on third downs, allowed only 184 passing yards, and pretty much stifled Vikings’ leading receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Nobody expected Dallas’ defense to do that. And nobody expected Dallas’ defense to make Teddy Bridgewater look like Hall of Famer John Elway, either.

Just like the offense, the defense was not aggressive enough, not disciplined, couldn’t set the edge and was whipped by a lesser talented team. Being overconfident is equivalent to being ill prepared, and this team exhibited both against the Broncos. However, its fixable.

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In conclusion,

Sooner or later, the Dallas Cowboys were going to lose a game, but with any loss, it is in the manner in how you lost the game. Dallas loss badly to the Broncos for different reasons that can be attributed to being out coached, being overconfident, lackluster play, and simply one team wanting it more. The reality is Dallas can fix all of these issues.

For instance, Dak Prescott is one of the most accurate downfield passers in the game, so his overthrows are more of a blip than a trend and can be a side effect of not playing almost three weeks. Under normal circumstances, those passes are completed for touchdowns. Plus, moving Steele back to right tackle and replacing him with a more capable lineman will solve that problem and protect Dak’s blindside.

The dropped passes, the defense not setting the edges, the mental mistakes, and simply being out played/out coached can be corrected with an attitude adjustment, which starts the players themselves. There is a reason this team won six games in a row, so lets not let an awful game overshadow that achievement.

Next. Dan Quinn has decisions to make and work to do. dark

And instead of everyone believing there is a blueprint on how to stop the Dallas Cowboys, the Cowboys discovering their own “wakeup” call before its too late is the real blueprint for a successful season that opposing teams should be more fearful of! BOOM!