Following a big win on Sunday over a divisional foe, there is officially a win streak brewing in Dallas. The Cowboys have won three straight, even with the absence of QB Dak Prescott, which few could have predicted after Week 1.
The key contributors came through again for Dallas. Guys like Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and CeeDee Lamb did what they usually do, but those studs are not the only reason the Cowboys won their third straight.
Once again, both the Cowboys offense and defense benefited significantly from guys you wouldn’t expect. Role players, rookies, and key veterans are playing above expectations to this point, not to mention the various injury-replacement players that have stepped up.
The Cowboys head into a tough environment out west against the reigning Super Bowl champs in Week 5, so needless to say, this won’t be easy. They will need to ride the hot hand, and if that means boosting the snap counts for some unexpected players, so be it!
3 Cowboys who earned more playing time in Week 5
3. DaRon Bland, CB.
An injury kept veteran CB Jourdan Lewis out of Sunday’s game, and with already limited cornerback depth, the Cowboys turned to rookie fifth-round pick DaRon Bland to step up, and he did just that.
Bland, an older rookie at 23 years old, and the product of two small colleges (Sacramento State and Fresno State) played like a true veteran on Sunday. He got late notice of his NFL debut, likely just a few minutes before game time, and yet the rookie was not fazed in the least.
He tallied his first career interception, a late-game turnover that helped seal the Cowboys victory. That play is what will make the headlines, but Bland did so much more throughout all four quarters.
Three solo tackles, one pass defended, and the interception showed that while Bland may not have been the conventional choice as a starter, he deserves more playing time in Week 5 regardless of the injury status of Lewis.
Bland played 80% of defensive snaps on Sunday, but just 21% season-wide. That number needs to get progressively raised starting in Week 5.
In comparison to Lewis, the rookie is significantly taller and longer, which as I mentioned fits the Quinn defense to perfection. This bodes well for Bland, as he looks to continue his hot start and keep up the big contributions he gave in Week 4.