Let's pump the brakes on the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl talk

The Dallas Cowboys looked dominant in their Week 1 blowout win against the New York Giants, but let's hold off on the Super Bowl talk right now.
Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs
Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, there was plenty of talk about how the Dallas Cowboys were a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Jerry Jones and company had sufficiently filled many of the team's holes from the previous season, acquiring veterans Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, among others.

Depending on your sportsbook of choice, the Cowboys opened the season between +1400 and +1600 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII. After Sunday's dominating win over the New York Giants, those odds improved dramatically.

Already viewed as one of the Super Bowl favorites, it almost feels like the Cowboys' performance on Sunday solidified many of our preseason assumptions. The Cowboys met our expectations in the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. But sometimes, in the wake of a blowout win, we tend to get caught up in the hype.

I can already hear the "We dem boyz!" and "This is our year!" chatter.

Let's calm down on the Cowboys Super Bowl chatter

Was the Cowboys' statement win over the New York Giants impressive? Of course, it was; the Cowboys set a franchise record with their 40-0 blowout.

But let's tap the brakes on claiming the Cowboys as Super Bowl favorites after one game against a sub-par New York Giants team. I've seen this story far too often. The Cowboys beat up on bad teams and lose to the good ones. It's why Dallas is always seemingly in the playoff picture but fail to advance once they make it.

I'm not saying the Cowboys aren't a legitimate good team. They very well may have the best defense in the NFL when it's all said and done, but I'm not ready to crown them right now. Not after one week. Not against the New York Giants who, despite overachieving last year, are not a very good football team.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Cowboys' performance on Sunday. There's a lot to be excited about, starting with the fact that they finally didn't play down to their opponent.

But I'm not ready to crown this defensive unit the best in the NFL. Not in a rain-soaked game against an offensive line whose struggles date back to before last season.

The Cowboys offense also figures to be a potent unit this year, but thanks to the defensive and special teams' play, the offense wasn't asked to do much in the game. Even taking the weather conditions into consideration, the Cowboys' offense showed there's still a lot of work to be done before they can go toe-to-toe with the league's best defenses.

Tony Pollard looked fantastic coming off his injury, showing burst and rushing for a 5-yard average. He'll be fine. But I do have some concerns about the passing game.

I know the weather wasn't ideal for throwing the ball, but even Dak Prescott admitted there were some off-target passes that should've been completed. He was off all night with tight end Jake Ferguson and a lack of a reliable tight end safety blanket could pose trouble against teams with better pass rushing down the line.

Prescott didn't turn the ball over, which is a great sign coming off last season, but his 54% completion percentage and 143 yards won't sway his detractors. To be fair, he was far from the worst Week 1 quarterback and he didn't really get a chance to prove much either way. Not to mention, he was victimized by four drops.

But I'd be lying if I said I was confident right now that the Cowboys passing game would succeed against teams like the 49ers, Eagles, or Jets. Dak and company will have a chance to prove me wrong though as they do face all three of these teams during the regular season, beginning with next week's matchup.

We'll get a better idea as to where this unit stands when they face a more formidable Jets defense in Week 2. New York's defense is coming off a tremendous outing in which they held the Buffalo Bills to just 16 points. Josh Allen struggled all night, fumbling twice and throwing three interceptions.

Until we see both the offense and defensive units go up against formidable teams, we won't really know what we have with this Cowboys team. We know they can beat bad teams, but we still don't know how they'll fair against the good ones. The defense caught a break with the unfortunate season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers, but the offense will have its first test against the New York Jets in Week 2.

So let's hold off on the premature Super Bowl claims until we really see what this Dallas Cowboys team is made of and how they respond to controversy.

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