Dallas Cowboys scoring pace is great, but it can be even better

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys are riding high with an impressive three-game winning streak. They boast a 9-3 record, sit as the fifth seed in the current playoff scenario, and just beat down the Indianapolis Colts 54-19, in the most embarrassing fashion.

This upcoming Sunday, the Cowboys look to pad on another “W” against the hapless 1-10-1 Houston Texans. They follow that up with another winnable game against the struggling 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars. If this were boxing, these games would be considered tune-up fights before the title match against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 24th.

Add the impressive win over the New York Giants and the blowout victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys are really beating up opponents in preparation for their archrival. Since Dak Prescott has returned from his injury, the Cowboys are 5-1 and are tearing through opponents like an impromtu tornado in East Texas.

The Dallas Cowboys have scored 199 points in a five-game span and are turning into an overall offensive juggernaut.

To see the Dallas Cowboys operating as one of the best offensive teams in the league (after watching them score a measly three points in their season opener against the Tampa Buccaneers) is one of the most surprising things to happen in franchise history. I did not see the explosion happening to this extent. When Cooper Rush won five games as the backup, the offense was barely above water and leaned heavily on its stout defense to lead the way.

Some teams get hot at the right time to make a run to get into the playoffs, but the difference with Dallas is that its key players are getting better on both sides of the ball at the right time to take this team deep into the playoffs.

Of course, the expectation was once Dak returned, the offense would get back into rhythm and improve. Remember, CeeDee Lamb was still finding his way as WR1, Michael Gallup was off to a slow start from his ACL injury, Noah Brown was a steady possession receiver, and Dallas had Dalton Schultz and rookie tight ends, Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot filling in the gaps. This is important because Dallas was more of a passing team than running team, so how can you score a bunch of points with so much doubt attached to the aforementioned pass catchers?

Boy was I wrong.

I am sure you are wondering after scoring 199 points in five straight games, how can it be that the Dallas Cowboys offense is just hitting its stride? Or is just getting started? How can that be? This offense has surely reached its peak.


It starts with Dak

After playing in his sixth straight game, we have witnessed Dak shake off the cobwebs while passing for 1,429 yards, 13 touchdowns, seven interceptions, completing 67.9 percent of his passes, and averaging 223.3 passing yards a game.

The seven interceptions are uncharacteristically high for Dak because he is more conservetive with the ball, but Dallas’ offense has scored more points than any other team since his return. If Dallas’ offense is humming at this prominent level while Dak continues to get better, how good do you think this offense will be by the end of the season or when it reaches the playoffs?

Be mindful that Dak’s body, mechanics, and rhythm are operating on a seven-game schedule and not the grueling 12-game schedule like the other NFL quarterbacks. As Dak gets more comfortable with the reps and realize he does not have to win the game with his aggressive passes, the offense will just get better and continue to destroy defenses.

CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup continue to get better, along with the tight ends

Dak Prescott’s rapport is getting better in each game with his two primary wide receivers, Lamb and Gallup. And despite Lamb’s mental lapses this season, the talented wideout is improving each game with key receptions, route running, scoring touchdowns, blocking, and proving his worth as a legitimate WR1. Imagine how good Lamb will be by the end of the season when the mental mistakes are no longer an issue, and he is playing a complete game as the primary receiver.

The same can be said for his counterpart, Michael Gallup. If you have not noticed, Gallup’s explosion is coming back, and he looks like his former self. Gallup and Lamb are getting in sync with Dak as the offense relies on its stout running game to open up the passing game. And whenever Dallas goes into its 12 and 13 personnel sets (two tight ends/three tight ends), Dalton Schultz, Ferguson, and Hendershot causes headaches for defenses because…

The Dallas Cowboys can either run or pass out of these formations and there are not much opposing defenses can do about it because Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard (Pollard has several runs over 20 plus yards) have found much success scoring touchdowns and gaining long runs.

Defensive coordinators are stuck figuring out how to stop the tight ends and the running backs because Dallas’ offense can either run or pass out of those formations.

Once again, all of this leads back to Dak orchestrating the offense like a maestro with all of the offensive weapons and schemes at his disposal, relying on its running game more than using his arm with aggressive passes. Remember, this offense became a run first team by accident ONLY because Rush was the backup quarterback.

In some ways, Dak’s injury was a blessing in disguise because this offense found its true identity in its running game. Zeke and Pollard are one of the best running back tandems in the league.

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Sidenote: Dak’s seven interceptions are the most he has thrown in the first seven games of his career. Dak stated that he believes in his arm. That is a good and dreadful thing, but it is correctable. Sportdfw.com writer John Herndon says Dak needs to stop chasing points and just make the simple plays. In addition, using Lamb in motion has been beneficial to the offense.

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In conclusion,

From an offensive standpoint, the Dallas Cowboys are truly a juggernaut that can hang points on any defense in the league, which goes for the San Francisco 49ers, too. The offense will only get better with the return of James Washington, a deep threat that can make acrobatic catches in his sleep and must be accounted for. This bodes well for Dallas because Lamb can play in the slot more where he simply plays his best, especially when used in motion.

Dallas’ best wins this season came in blowout wins over the Vikings and Colts, and the scary part is that Dallas did not even play its best game because of penalties and other minor issues. So, what happens once the penalties decline (which they did against the Colts, three penalties for 43 yards, the lowest of the season) and the offense and defense are on the same page? My Gawd

The offense is helping the defense when it plays with a lead and forces teams to lean on its passing game. The Colts found out the hard way as Dallas forced five takeaways with one of those takeaways turning into a defensive touchdown. The 33-point onslaught in the fourth quarter was the most points scored in franchise history and had not been done in the NFL since 1925.

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Consider that the Colts defense had not allowed more than 26 points, but Dallas’ offense scored with ease on a defense that the Eagles beat by one point…LOL. Some teams get hot at the right time to make a run to get into the playoffs, but the difference with Dallas is that its key players are getting better on both sides of the ball at the right time to take this team deep into the playoffs.

Talented players getting better at the right time is why the Dallas Cowboys are just getting started as one of the best teams in the NFL.