The Bengals figured out the secret the Cowboys are searching for

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that the Cincinnati Bengals have come out of nowhere in the NFL scene this season. Taking the league by storm, the Bengals find themselves in the Super Bowl though most had them finishing in last place of their division. Unlike the Cowboys, the Bengals outplayed their expectations.

I look at that team with pure envy as a Cowboys fan. It took them two years to go from the worst record in the league, to potential world champs.

The Dallas Cowboys have been failing at this dance for the last twenty years.

If you look at the journey of the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals, they have many similarities:

  1. Both have made recent coaching changes
  2. Both have a franchise quarterback in place
  3. Both lost their QB1 last season
  4. Both saw entire season derailed in 2021
  5. Both came back healthy and motivated for 2022

Both teams have put great pieces around their quarterback; a young wide receiver corps, a solid RB that’s guaranteed to be with the team for a long time, and stout defense that can give any team problems.

It’s no secret that in terms of talent, the Cowboys had one of the better rosters in 2021. Dallas didn’t just have better top-end talent than the Bengals, but they were deeper as well. The difference between the two of them is that the Bengals were able to beat teams they weren’t supposed to.

The Bengals took the Chiefs on twice this year, in week 18, and of course, in the AFC Championship, and they came out on top both occasions. The Cowboys only beat one playoff team, the Eagles, who were smacked out of the playoffs instantly, and didn’t even have 10 wins.

In those instances, what separates the amazing teams from the middle-of-the-pack is no longer roster talent. It comes down to overall leadership, coaching, and execution.

From the outside looking in, the Cowboys have great leadership in the locker room. The team respects Dak Prescott and his journey and he leads the team well. They have young guys like Micah Parsons leading the defense, while still having a veteran presence in D-Law and Randy Gregory. And they’re able to stay out of the headlines in the best way possible.

The issue then, is clearly in our coaching. Say what you want about Kellen Moore, but I’m personally not his biggest fan. It seems like halfway through the season he just disappears and the offense sputters. At best he does show signs of brilliance, but that’s not consistently.

Dan Quinn has been fantastic and brought the best out of our defense. Players openly expressed their desire to have Dan Quinn remain as the active Defensive Coordinator and most fans agree.

Nobody was relieved when Mike McCarthy got his job back. No player retweeted about it, and I didn’t hear any fans happy about his return. I understand it’s not profound to say “Mike McCarthy isn’t a good head coach,” but watching the Bengals this postseason really put it into perspective for me.

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As stated previously, this team is not much different on the surface in terms of their make up, and yet what the Cowboys have been attempting success, and has failed time and time again.

The same formula our front office has been spitting out clearly won’t work for us. Always good enough to win the division and nothing more. It will always come down to coaching.

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All the talent in the world will not be able to overcome it when it truly matters. And that is what the Bengals have and it’s how they have gone from worst to first in only two years.