Year after year, as the end of the season nears questions looming around the Dallas Cowboys are heightened. The stigma is that the Cowboys cannot come up big when it counts. Countless years, countless solid Cowboy teams that never made it to the big dance all give Dallas haters ammunition in those heated whose-better-than-who debates.
As it stands right now, Dallas is looking quite good this year. Dominating in almost all of the games they have played. Following a close-win against Seattle last week, many still do not think the Cowboys are legit contenders. Now, as the harder part of their schedule is around the corner, the Cowboys have a chance to prove themselves.
This year even with the Cowboys beating teams that they should have, by wide margins, their strength of schedule has been in question. But when you look at it, because of the fashion they have won these games, their strength of schedule up until now should not matter because they won how they were supposed to. Therefore, the Cowboys deserve respect for the season they have had.
Dallas's success starts with their offense this season. Usually a team likes to beef up the defense and solidify that first and let the defense be their safety net to win games for you. The Cowboys themselves have been this way at times. But during the first 13 games, it has been the opposite. Yes, the defense has still been as stout as it always is (ranked top 3 in yards allowed, top 12 in rush defense and top 7 in pass defense). However, the offense has been trending in the right direction all season and leading them to wins just a little bit more anything else.
The offense has been a highlight-reel all year. Dallas is ranked number one in points per game, top five in yards per game and number three in big-plays converted. We all know the season Dak is having but check out Ceedee Lamb! Finally reaching his potential he ranks number two in yards, five in yards per game and number three also in big-play conversions throughout the league.
Prescott and Lamb have played like one of the leagues' best duos this year, from a statistical perspective.
It is hard to maintain this Prescott and Lamb when they are on fire together this year. Opposing defense have a hard time with this duo because Lamb is a fantastic route runner. He can beat you over the top, under-neath and he can make the difficult grab when needed. Defensive back-cores have to take into account everything that he can beat you with. When much defensive attention is focused on him, Brandin Cooks, occasionally Michael Gallup and the fiery Jake Ferguson are all able to get open and be effective as well. So at every aspect, Lamb effects games, whether he stuffs the stat-sheet or not. Lamb is a superstar.
At running back, Tony Pollard has not been as dominant as one would of hoped but he is still a dangerous runner. Dallas can use him in a handful of different ways and when needed, he can get you that 3rd down conversion and move the chains. Pollard will be counted on as the Cowboys get closer to the playoffs. In the playoffs in any sport, teams need dominant play from their stars and the Cowboys have a whole lot of them on offense to help them in the long-run.
Most of all, Dallas will need to protect Prescott and allow him to make plays. The veteran Cowboys offensive line has been great all season and has allowed Prescott to have the year that he is. Still, the offense rolls as their signal-caller does and up against an array of good push rush units, Prescott needs time to move the ball downfield. If Prescott gets going and the Dallas offense is rolling in these tough games, Dallas can shift momentum heavily in their favor to win games.
The Cowboys offense is what can lead them to compete in the post-season. They have enough fire-power needed from a contending team. They are flashy, they have fun playing together and they look the-part. They just now have to be effective in the most crucial times.