Dallas is still the team to beat in the NFC East, but it didn’t look that way early. Following a 19-3 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was little optimism among Dallas fans. They had seen it before, a team hyped up by its owner as a contender to be brought swiftly back down to Earth. The Cowboys were the only team not to score a touchdown in week one meanwhile, the Eagles have scored no less than 24 points in each game this season. Since then, Dallas has won two straight, and here is how.
The Defense is Dominant
How long has it been since we could say that about Dallas? I have not missed a game since 2005 and I’m here to tell you that this is the best unit they have fielded in that timeframe. They are winning the battle at the line of scrimmage with regularity and as a result, they have shut down two of the league’s top offenses. Micah Parsons is going to beat all one-on-one blocks and can still affect the quarterback even when he is chipped. Dallas pressured Daniel Jones 23 times on Monday night and sacked him six times. Outside of one explosive run, Saquon Barkley was held in check and superstar Trevon Diggs sealed the game with a pick. For the first time since the days of Aikman, Dallas has a defense that can carry a team.
The Run Game is Back
The Cowboys know how to pick offensive linemen. First-round pick Tyler Smith has silenced the critics in three weeks of sheer dominance. Check out this clip below and see for yourself. He was the highest-graded lineman for Dallas according to Pro Football Focus. He hasn’t allowed a sack and the Cowboys saw multiple explosive runs of more than ten yards to Smith’s side. Once Tyron Smith is healthy, Dallas will have the good problem of having two top-tier left tackles. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott each received over 12 carries and averaged 6.5 yards per tote. This is the formula for success until Dak returns.