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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Special Teams: B+

Special teams coordinator John Fassel finally unleashed this unit in his second year with the team. The Cowboys are second in the NFL in kick return average, with 27 yards per return.

The Cowboys even have two blocked punts on the year, even though the one against Denver hurt them more than it helped. Fassel is known for his aggressiveness and the special teams is playing with that edge.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein has been inconsistent on the year, but he has come through late in the games when the team needs him most. Zuerlein is 14/18 for field goals on the year, but he did make a game-winner against the Chargers and made a kick to force overtime in New England.

Dallas Cowboys Coaching: A-

It is hard to argue with the job the coaching staff has done this season. Does Mike McCarthy have questionable time-management decisions? Yes. But, has his team come ready to play 7 of the 8 games? Absolutely.

This was a huge season for McCarthy in Dallas, especially after going 6-10 last year. But, he has instilled a winning culture in the players and the 6-2 start to the season is not too shabby either.

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore deserves a ton of credit for the Cowboys having the best offense in the NFL. He is a very creative play-caller and has found many ways to get the ball into the offensive playmakers’ hands. Dallas leads the NFL in yards per game with 434.3 and are third in points per game with 30.1.

After having one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has totally flipped the script for the Cowboys’ defense. The defense is giving up 24 points per game and is fifth in the league in takeaways with 14.

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Also, the Cowboys’ defense has been missing so many pieces but they continue to play at a league-average level. The Cowboys’ elite offense and opportunistic defense feed nicely off one another and need to continue that winning formula in the second half of the season.