Dallas Cowboys are resilient but must play complementary football

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
dallas cowboys
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

A Dallas Cowboys team playing with resiliency

That Eagles’ victory symbolizes how this Dallas Cowboys team has shown resiliency not only in a decisive win, but in every game. Because Dak has thrown more interceptions (11) since week 7, it has been the one negative held against him and what critics believe will be the downfall for this team.

From Dak’s uncharacteristic interceptions (most of them are not his fault) to season-ending injuries to key starters on both sides of the ball, this team bounces back with impressive playmaking by players who were buried deep on the depth chart and not expected to contribute at all.

The latest example would be the benching of second year corner, Kelvin Joseph. After giving up two unimpressive touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Joseph was benched and blamed for Dallas’ loss to some extent. So, who would replace Joseph since the secondary was already without Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown.

Well, Nahshon Wright stepped up his game against the Eagles and played as solid as you can expect from a second-year player buried deep on the depth chart. Wright had eight combined tackles, six solo tackles, and one TFL (tackle for loss). In fact, his only TFL stopped a third down conversion.

A solid performance from a role player.

But the most surprising player who has come through for a depleted secondary is rookie sensation DaRon Bland-who has five interceptions on the season. The fifth rounder out of Fresno State has stepped in nicely for the injured Lewis and is making a difference with his play-making abilities.

For all of the Eagles’ fans complaining about a bad pass from Gardner Minshew,  it was not a bad pass. Bland simply made a play on the ball and snatched the ball out of the hands of the Eagles receiver. That is determination baby. Another example of resiliency and resolve.

Bland is a life saver because all of his takeaways have come at crucial times and makes up for the loss of Lewis, an underrated ball-hawk in his own right. The same can be said for other players on the defense who has stepped up. Take rookie linebacker Damone Clark-filling in the void for fellow injured linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

A fifth-round rookie like Bland, Clarke has filled in nicely as a bruising linebacker. The up-and-coming rookie has played in eight games and started in three. The coaching staff trusts Clark because he has played in 74/69 percent of the defensive snaps in Dallas’ last two games, recording seven solo tackles and 13 combined tackles.

While LVE sits out recovering from a shoulder injury, imagine how good the linebacking corps will be once he returns to the lineup with an upcoming backer like Clark. And expect Jabril Cox to get in on the action, too, because Anthony Barr has had his moments as a liability (although he did recover a fumble against the Eagles)

To head coach Mike McCarthy’s credit, the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff has not panicked because of injuries. They have found ways to put their players in the best position to succeed and be a major contributor instead of being the weakest link for opposing teams to feast on.

The same goes for the offensive side of the ball where the offensive line is doing its best to protect Dak and open up holes for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Losing offensive lineman Terence Steele was a huge blow to Dallas’ running game because he was having his best season. But Coach Big Mac and offensive line coach, Joe Philbin, are putting the best linemen on the field to yield maximum results.