I always try to refrain from anointing players and teams too early, but after ten weeks, we can say the Dallas Cowboys are not only in the discussion for the best team in the NFC, but possibly the best team in the entire NFL.
Yes, we all know the Denver game happened, but let’s not forget the Bucs have lost two in a row. They lost one to the up and down Saints, and then got manhandled by Washington. The Packers struggled against a declining Seahawks team, and the Cardinals looked very human against the Panthers.
Then there was that stinker by the Rams last night. Yikes. All of this is just the NFC, we could expand out and also bring up that Bills vs Jacksonville game to make the case for best team in the entire NFL.
But let’s look at where the Dallas Cowboys actually rank in some categories. For the season the Cowboys offense is:
- first in yards per game
- fifth in passing yards per game
- fourth in rushing yards per game
- first in points per game.
On defense, the Cowboys are:
- fifteenth in yards per game allowed
- twenty-first in passing yards per game
- tenth in rushing yards per game
- tenth in points per game
- sixth in turnover differential
- fourth in turnovers.
*Many of these numbers are impacted by teams having to throw to keep up with the Dallas Cowboys potent offense. And that’s exactly why this team is built the way it is
The Dallas Cowboys are currently the best team in the NFC – they are the team to beat right now.
As the defense continues to make strides and get players back from injured reserve, the defense has the potential to improve dramatically. Keep in mind, two of the lowest-ranked stats are sacks (they are 24th) and pressure percentage (they sit 19th). Getting back their injured defensive linemen which include: DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Neville Gallimore and recently Trysten Hill, should help. If the Cowboys can play as they did against Atlanta, this team should be considered the threat in the NFC.
Looking at the other teams in the NFC who would want to stake their claim, the Bucs certainly have the closest case. The Bucs are seventeenth in points allowed per game on defense and third on offense. The defense looks to have taken a step back for them this season and it no longer the asset it was last winter when it carried them through the playoffs.
The Rams and Cardinals are fourth and fifth in points scored (although based on last night the Rams will drop). The vaunted Rams defense is lower than the Cowboys (again prior to tonight’s game) in points allowed. Yes, the Cardinals have a strong defense, but they are nineteenth in yards per game against the run.
Again, teams playing from behind do tend to pass more, but still, something to note. The Packers, for those asking, are top three in defensive points allowed, but nineteenth in offensive points per game.
There is still a lot of football to happen and teams sometimes rise and fall as the season progresses. However, after ten weeks the Cowboys are now the best team in the NFC. With games, upcoming against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Saints over the next three weeks will go a long way to how the Cowboys are viewed by those outside of the fan base.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to get tested, and if they come out with passing grades, the NFC should be theirs for the taking.