NFC East Power Rankings No. 1: Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
This was about as perfect of an opening game as the Cowboys could have asked for.
They started out on fire with a special teams touchdown after Juanyeh Thomas blocked a field goal and Noah Igbinoghene recovered the loose ball. They also had a defensive touchdown when Trevon Diggs dislodged a pass out of Saquon Barkley's hands with a monster hit and DaRon Bland ran it in for six. That was one of two picks, with Stephon Gilmore getting one as well in his Dallas debut.
If that wasn't enough, Tony Pollard had two touchdowns on the ground and the defense recorded seven sacks — with Dorance Armstrong and Osa Odighizuwa each getting two.
Dak Prescott hardly had to do anything with just 143 yards on 13-of-24 passing, although there were a couple of drops — including one from Peyton Hendershot that should have been another touchdown.
Dallas has owned the Giants with Prescott under center but this one had nothing to do with No. 4. Instead, it was the defense that completely dominated.
They're loaded at all three levels with star players such as Gilmore, Diggs, Micah Parsons, and DeMarcus Lawrence leading the way. They also have excellent role players including Leighton Vander Esch and just watched Juanyeh Thomas and Markquese Bell each make a statement when they were asked to play more snaps.
We all know this offense can get hot and when they do, they can go toe-to-toe with anyone. But if they ever want to get beyond the second round of the playoffs, they're going to need their defense to take over. If Week 1 is any indication, that could very well happen in 2023.