Following the Dallas Cowboys win against the New York Giants in Week 10, now is the perfect time to reflect on how things have gone in the first 10 weeks of the season.
The Cowboys currently sit at 6-3 in 2023, two full games behind the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead. With eight regular season games left, Dallas has plenty of chances still to catch the reigning NFC champion in the division.
The Cowboys will have to win some big games, though, if they want any chance at the division. They need to take care of business over the next two weeks against the Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders.
After that, the schedule gets really difficult. Playing against the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions in five straight weeks is no easy feat. But, going 3-2 or 4-1 during that stretch should surely keep them in the mix for the division title.
But let's take a step back and look at the biggest Cowboys surprises at the midway point of the season. These three players have really stepped up in a big way for Dallas this year and will need to continue that in the second half.
Honorable mention: Jake Ferguson
3. Dak Prescott
It was a toss-up between tight end Jake Ferguson and quarterback Dak Prescott here at the third spot. Both players have been a pleasant surprise for Dallas so far. But Prescott is off to a great start after his poor 2022 campaign.
Through eight games last year, Prescott threw for 1,847 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while completing 66.9% of his passes. He also had just 25 carries for 94 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
This season, Prescott has been far more efficient. In eight games, the Cowboys quarterback has thrown for 2,011 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions while completing 70.2% of his passes. He has also rushed a bit more this year, totaling 29 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown.
The eight-game sample size from last year to this year shows how things have changed on offense with head coach Mike McCarthy now calling the plays. Prescott's interception rate has gone down, and his completion percentage has gone up.
Prescott has been almost flawless this season, besides his Week 5 performance against the San Francisco 49ers. He threw three picks in that game, while throwing for just 153 yards through the air.
Outside of that, Prescott has thrown for 250 passing yards in five of eight games this season, including a season-high 374 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9. The 30-year-old quarterback has really stepped up this year, and hopefully, that continues through the regular season and into the playoffs.