Trying to repeat as division champions, the Cowboys are looking up at the Eagles and Giants but still in contention.
When you look at the NFC playoff picture, Dallas currently holds the six seed with wins over the Rams (7 seed) and the Giants (5 seed). Cooper Rush did exactly what he needed to do, have the Cowboys sitting in the playoff picture when Prescott returned.
This post isn’t to pick one or the other; it’s to give kudos to Rush for holding Dallas above water and not talk about some quarterback controversy everyone thought was brewing.
The NFC is weird right now. On the outside looking in are the Packers, who hold a 3-3 record with the loss to the Jets yesterday. The Giants are 5-1, but the one loss came from a Rush-led Cowboys team which will loom large.
Only one game separates the Cowboys from jumping to the five seed. Let’s give this team a lot of credit for not throwing in the towel when the media and everyone else buried them.
CeeDee Lamb Says ‘Sky’s the Limit’ for Cowboys Offense When Dak Prescott Returns - Tyler Conway, Bleacher Report
Lamb has stepped up for backup QB Cooper Rush, but knows the connection can get better when QB1 is on the field.
While Cooper Rush performed admirably in Dak Prescott’s stead, the Dallas Cowboys appear eager to have restrictions taken off their offense.
“Sky’s the limit,” CeeDee Lamb told reporters of his expectations when Prescott returns. “The offense is very good, and everyone knows this. When we get him back, we’re going to show everybody.”
Prescott plans to return from a five-game absence in Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Lions. He suffered a fractured thumb in Week 1’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and only returned to practice on a limited basis late last week.
Rush led the Cowboys to a 4-1 record in five starts, winning four straight games before Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia. He’s thrown for 1,020 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions and drew high praise from Prescott:
“I mean, I never really had any doubt that the team wouldn’t do what they just did. Obviously, y’all know me, [I’m] very optimistic. Got a lot of pride in this team, know the guys that are on this team, the defense, know what Cooper’s capable of. So, yeah, obviously disappointed I couldn’t be with the guys along what, the past five weeks, I guess. But excited to move forward and happy as hell with the position that we’re in, and we can get rolling.”
Cowboys ‘QB Controversy’ Killed - By Cooper Rush vs. Eagles; Dak Prescott Comeback? - Logan Macdonald, CowboysSI.com
The Cowboys offense left too many plays on the field against the team with the best record in the NFL.
Rush has been solid for Dallas this season ... in what he’s been asked to do, which is to simply not lose games offensively while letting the defense win them. However, the loss to Philly showed how much of a handicap that can be.
Dallas sacked Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts four times while holding the Philadelphia run game to just 3.5 yards per carry. The bigger issue was, Dallas turned the ball over three times. More specifically, Rush threw three interceptions. Additionally, Rush was 18 of 38 on the night for just 181 passing yards. The defense did its part - well, except for allowing a late crushing TD drive -but Rush displayed his issues winning a football game when the opposing offense forces him to go score-for-score.
As if Prescott leading Dallas to the No. 1 total offense last year, or setting the single-season Cowboys passing touchdown record wasn’t enough, Sunday just served as another reminder for how invaluable he is to the offense.
Yes, fans and the media were quick to rush to judgement when they called the Cowboys season “over” after Prescott’s injury.
Nonetheless, the calls for Rush to displace Prescott were just as premature, as shown in an embarrassing NFC East loss on Sunday. Now, Dallas prepares to welcome back Prescott with open arms for next week’s showdown against the Detroit Lions.
The NFC East has been the best division in football, just like we all expected.
Led by Jalen Hurts, a dominant run game and a strong defense, the Eagles look like legitimate championship contenders.
“What’s exciting about being 6-0 and not having played a complete game is there’s only room to get better and that’s our goal,” Sirianni said.
Rookie coach Brian Daboll has New York headed toward its first winning season since 2016. The Giants have overcome 10-point deficits in the second half in three of their wins.
“This league is hard. It’s not always going to be perfect. There will be a lot of people down on you,” Daboll said. “And you might be down on yourself, wish you could do better. But you keep on getting back up, you keep on swinging, keep on competing, regardless of the score or the situation of the game. And that’s not easy to do, right? That’s not easy to do when you’re down. If you sit on the bench and start ... complaining, that’s easy to do.
“We know we’re a long way away. (It’s the) early part of the season. But we just try to compete and do the best job we can.”
Dallas had won four straight games with backup quarterback Cooper Rush until running into Philadelphia. Rush’s three interceptions cost the Cowboys against the Eagles, but he performed well enough during Dak Prescott’s absence to keep the team in the mix. Prescott said he plans to return this week.
“I’m happy as hell the position we’re in,” Prescott said. “It’s good to be 4-2. I’m not excited we lost, but there’s a long season ahead and we’re in a good position.”
The division hasn’t had a repeat winner since the Eagles captured four straight titles from 2001-04.
The Cowboys were expecting a lot from Dalton Schultz this season, but have seen rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot step up instead.
In a game that saw a lot of inefficiency on offense, mostly fueled by Cooper Rush having the first bad day at the office in 2022, the unsung hero for this week has to go to rookie fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson for turning into the stabilizing force in the receiving game.
With Dalton Schultz sidelined and the Cowboys needing an aerial charge to complement what Ezekiel Elliott was doing on the ground, Ferguson stepped up with big catches and one of the most athletic moves in open space you’ll ever see from a tight end - resulting in the second Dallas touchdown and making it a 20-17 game and nearly setting the stage for a Cowboys comeback win. -Patrik Walker
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