With three weeks in the books, and a 2-1 record, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a better position than most would’ve thought considering the hand they were dealt with injuries. The Cowboys were up to the task and defeated their NFC East rival, the New York Giants, 23-16. The ongoing theme of this season thus far is the play of the defense, the offense doing just enough, and the special teams playing better than many pundits would’ve thought considering the drama that unfolded during training camp.
Even with a nice win against a division rival, not all of it was impressive. There were a couple bright spots but there were also a couple spots that were not so bright which made the game closer than it should’ve been.
Let’s look at some of the things that worked, and things that need work.
Could there be a new lead back in the Cowboys backfield?
Although Cooper Rush has played well enough to win football games, there is one player in particular on offense that was most impressive in week three. That player is running back Tony Pollard.
Pollard led all players in this is contest on the ground, where he rushed for 105 yards. What was most impressive about his performance was he broke 100 yards rushing on only 13 carries. At an average of 8.1 yards a tote, Pollard looked explosive with the ball in his hands. The only issue with Pollard was that he didn’t get more touches. Taking things a step further, he was only out-carried by Ezekiel Elliott by two which could be a promising sign to come because there are many out there that have been waiting for Pollard to take over the majority of the workload out of the backfield. Week three’s effort definitely helped his cause, and it wouldn’t shock many to see Pollard carrying the mail more than Elliott very soon.
The Tank showed up and showed out on Monday Night Football
On the defensive side of the ball, it can be much more difficult to determine who was the most impressive player each week due to the overall great play of this unit. However, this week was much easier to decipher as DeMarcus Lawrence put on a show this past Monday night.
Lawrence can catch some flack because of his lack of stats, but just because the stats may not blow anyone away it doesn’t mean he’s not performing at an elite level. It is more indicative as to the amount of attention he usually garners because of how elite he is. This week was one of those weeks where his efforts and greatness filled out the stat sheet as he not only had six tackles, but three of those tackles resulted in three sacks of Daniel Jones. In total, Lawrence played a huge role in causing 23 pressures on Jones in week three. The only issue with Lawrence this week was he got nicked up in the game which did limit his game snaps. Without the brief stint off the field with an injury, we could be talking about an even more historic performance from Tank.
Cleaning up the mental errors is key in order for the Cowboys to make a deep run in 2022
On the unimpressive side of things, it’s really not about one single player who didn’t perform up to snuff in week three, its more about the mental errors that keep popping up every single game. From Sam Williams’ late hit on quarterback Daniel Jones as he was heading out of bounds, to Donovan Wilson smacking the ball to the ground that was intended for the referee.
Williams is going to be a good NFL player, sooner rather than later, but as a rookie, these miscues can happen. Hopefully, he continues to clean it up. Wilson, aside from that miscue that appeared to lack any ill-intent, played one heck of a game and has performed well thus far in 2022. Aside from those unfortunate miscues, both sides of the ball are still having those mental lapses which in week three tallied up to eight penalties for 70 yards. Thankfully in the last two games they haven’t cost the Cowboys a win, but they have made the games a little more interesting than they should’ve been. This has been a reoccurring theme that needs to be corrected, and corrected soon, if they want to make a deep run into the playoffs.