Sitting at 6-2 heading into the bye, the Dallas Cowboys can be relatively happy about their first-half performance.
Their defense has been one of the best in the NFL, led by defensive end Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys rank first in sacks (33), third in points allowed per game (16.6), and are tied for sixth in takeaways (13).
Yes, Dallas has had their problems stopping the run this season, as they rank bottom seven in rush yards allowed per game. But their ability to get to the quarterback has helped stop big pass plays. Dallas has allowed just 8.4 yards per completion this season, good for third-best in the NFL, compared to 11.1 a season ago.
As the defense has stepped up, Dallas’ offense has done enough through eight games. With quarterback Dak Prescott missing five games due to a right thumb injury from Week 2 to Week 6, Dallas held their own with Cooper Rush at the helm. Rush led the Cowboys to a 4-1 record in five starts and got the job done as the backup.
Now, the Cowboys are off their bye week and feeling good after Prescott led them to back-to-back victories over the Lions and Bears. The former Pro Bowl quarterback has thrown for 457 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception since his return.
The Cowboys were quiet once again at the Trade Deadline and remain confident in this group for the rest of the season, but there’s still plenty of football left to play. Let’s look ahead and rank the three biggest games remaining on Dallas’ schedule.
Ranking the 3 most important remaining games on the Cowboys’ schedule
3. Cowboys @ Vikings, Week 11
The Cowboys will travel to Minnesota for the third consecutive year looking for their third straight win against the Vikings. But this time will be different when these two teams square off in Week 11. Dallas will finally have Prescott under center.
In 2020, quarterback Andy Dalton filled in for Prescott as the backup and defeated the Vikings 31-28 and then Rush beat Minnesota 20-16 last season.
This time around, the Cowboys will have their hands full with a much improved Vikings squad that is 6-1 on the year and first in the NFC North. According to NFL.com, Minnesota sits seventh in their most recent Power Rankings, just three spots lower than America’s Team.
This will be a good test for the Cowboys shortly after their bye against one of the top teams in the NFC. After losing Week 1 to the Buccaneers and Week 6 to the Eagles, a win against the Vikings could show the team’s potential come playoff time. This game could also be moved from the 4:25 p.m. ET slate to Sunday Night Football in Week 11.