3 Cowboys with the most to prove in final three games of the season

Dec 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the
Dec 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The Dallas Cowboys have entered the home stretch of their schedule. Before the season, fans pointed to the final six games as the stretch that could define Dallas' season. Well, they sit here at 10-4 with a chance to win the NFC East if they go 2-1 over their final three games and the Eagles lose one more game.

By and large, it's been a successful Cowboys regular season. Several players are in the midst of career years, including Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb, DaRon Bland, and Osa Odighizuwa.

Others haven't performed on as high of a level, however. These players have shown flashes of promise, but have been too inconsistent to garner praise. With a strong three games, though, they can get back in fans' good graces and potentially earn another season with the organization.

3. Terence Steele

It's impossible to explain Dallas' rationale behind giving big-time contracts to players coming off major injuries. The returns for Jaylon Smith and Michael Gallup detrimental to the team, and they turned around and did the same with Terence Steele in the form of a five-year, $86 million deal with $50 million guaranteed.

Like Smith and Gallup, Steele has endured a fall from grace post-ACL surgery.

Steele's 45 pressures allowed are the fifth-most among tackles who've played at least 250 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He's also allowed, the 10th-most hurries, second-most QB hits and seventh-most sacks.

Steele has allowed just one sack over the last six games, but he's allowed 17 pressures during that span. While nobody would argue that sacks are more consequential, pressures are disruptive in that they throw off a QB's timing. It's why pressures and pass-rush win rate are held in a higher regard than sacks when analyzing edge rushers.

Steele's coming off arguably his best game of the season in Buffalo and now gets to tango with the Dolphins and Lions' talented pass rush units. Cowboys fans are having second thoughts about Steele's contract, but that could change if the RT puts together a strong finish to the season.