The Dallas Cowboys have had a great year in 2023, and a number of surprising individual performances. Over the course of a season, certain players have gone from looking like they could be out of the team's future plan to perhaps even being essential parts of it.
It just goes to show that you can't write players off early in the year. The Cowboys have a massive game coming up in Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles, and a number of players have perhaps unexpectedly come through as key starters and role players.
And I would go so far as to say, they have miraculously saved their jobs for the future with the way they have played. Let's take a look at four names, in particular, who have impressed.
1. Rico Dowdle, RB
The Dallas Cowboys took a bit of a risk this season going in with just Tony Pollard as their primary running back and the combination of players like Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn behind him. I think you could still make arguments that the Cowboys didn't exactly set themselves up great with that group, but Rico Dowdle has proven his value in recent weeks.
Fans had been clamoring for more of Dowdle and finally got it in the Cowboys' dominating win over the New York Giants in November, where Dowdle ran for 79 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He also added a receiving touchdown on Thanksgiving against the Commanders.
Cowbys fans have still been calling for more Dowdle usage this season, especially when the team is in the red zone or near the goal line. He can be effective there, but Mike McCarthy needs to make the decision to get him on the field more in those situations.