Dallas Cowboys: Unit grades at midway point in season

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

We are officially halfway through the NFL season, and the Dallas Cowboys sit at 6-2 good enough for first place in the NFC East. Despite a terrible performance against the Broncos, there are still many positives to take away from the first half of the Cowboys season.

Without further ado, let’s go through each position group and give them a grade at the midway point in the season.

Dallas Cowboys Quarterbacks Grade: A

Dak Prescott has played at an MVP level through the first eight games. Dak is completing 69% of his passes for 2,045 yards, 18 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 108.7. He has shown to be worth the lucrative contract he received in the offseason.

Cooper Rush had to step in for Dak against the Vikings and he performed admirably. Leading the team to a comeback victory on Sunday Night football. To be able to win a game with a backup quarterback is a major boost in the NFL and Rush deserves tons of credit.

I will not be a prisoner of the moment and allow the terrible performance against the Broncos to affect how I feel about the quarterbacks as a whole this season. I expect a big bounce-back game from Dak and the whole Cowboys team this Sunday against Atlanta.

Dallas Cowboys Running Backs Grade: A-

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have shown that they are one of the best running back duos in the NFL. Zeke is currently fifth in the league in rushing yards with 622 and he is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Tony Pollard has 403 yards rushing on the season while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Pollard is the perfect compliment to Zeke’s power running style. He has even shown improvement in pass protection and running between the tackles this year.

I am hoping to see more 21 personnel ( 2 running backs, 1 tight end) so both Pollard and Elliott can be on the field together. Getting all of the offensive weapons on the field at the same time can only make the offense more explosive.

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver/Tight End Grades: A+

This has probably been the best unit on the team this season. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb have both played like true number one receivers. Lamb has 41 receptions for 632 yards and four touchdowns. While Cooper has 40 catches for 532 yards and five touchdowns.

With Michael Gallup getting injured in week 1, Cedrick Wilson has stepped up and played great as the team’s third receiver. Wilson has come through with many key receptions for the Cowboys including the fourth down play against the Patriots and the 73-yard touchdown vs the Vikings.

Malik Turner even filled in against the Broncos with a blocked punt and two touchdown receptions. Cooper, Lamb, and soon to return Gallup will be a big part of the Cowboys’ success the rest of the season. I may be biased but I think this is the best receiving corps in the NFL and they have played like it all year.

Dalton Schultz has been the Cowboys’ TE1 all season and has quickly become one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets. Schultz has supplanted Blake Jarwin, due to his availability and his development as a pass catcher. Schultz has done a good job blocking as well, and the soon-to-be free agent looks set for a hefty payday.

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line: B

The Offensive line has played pretty well this season despite many of the starting linemen missing time. La’el Collins just recently returned from his five-game suspension. But, now Tyron Smith is out with an ankle injury.

Terence Steele did a good job filling in for Collins at right tackle, allowing the offensive line to continue to succeed over those five games Collins missed. But, when he got switched to left tackle the transition was not smooth.

Steele had a tough game against Denver this past week, allowing nine pressures, and reinforced the fact that we need Tyron Smith back sooner than later. Zack Martin continues to be great at right guard but the other two interior linemen of Connor Williams and Tyler Biadasz have had some growing pains.

Williams is a solid left guard but he does commit too many penalties, he currently leads the NFL in penalties enforced with eight. Seven of those penalties are via holding. Tyler Biadasz has gotten better week by week as he allowed 0 pressures against Denver despite struggling earlier in the season.

As a unit overall, this season the Cowboys rank 24th in pass-block win rate with 53% rate, and they rank 4th in run-block win rate with 74%. The pass blocking will need to be better to keep Dak Prescott upright and give him the time to pick opposing secondaries apart.