The Dallas Cowboys are proving themselves worthy among the elite of the NFC, winning their third straight game, the latest against the Washington Commanders. There have been serious strides made from this team since their substandard week one performance. Enjoy yet another victory Monday as we assess Sunday’s game.
The first person worth acknowledging this week is Trevon Diggs. His performance Sunday is one of the best of his career thus far, seemingly locking down yet another elite wide receiver. Aside from his interception, he made momentum changing plays on the ball, deflecting two balls away from Terry McLaurin. If Diggs can keep up the level of play he has started this season with, the Cowboys have something they have longed for - an elite cornerback.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball and in the secondary in particular, Donovan Wilson continues to play well in his increased role since the injury of Jayron Kearse. In conjunction with that, secondary mate DaRon Bland finally got his feet wet in real time due to injury, recording his first NFL interception. Both played well on Sunday and could grow into integral parts in what has become one of the elite units of the NFL.
Switching to the offensive side of the ball, it is hard to ignore the overall impact of CeeDee Lamb since the back half of last week. He seems to have really found his stride, which seemed to be a point of emphasis in this Cowboys’ offseason.
The two other names that deserved to be singled out are Brett Maher and Cooper Rush. Maher has been elite this year, which is essential for an inefficient redzone offense. The blocked extra point today wasn’t his fault, he even made a movie-like tackle on the same play. Kudos to you, King Brett, kudos to you. As for Rush, it is hard to ignore the history he has made as the starter. He is the only Cowboys quarterback to start his career 4-0, that statistic speaks for itself. He has done leaps and bounds better than anyone expected and has the led the Cowboys to one of the best records in the league a month into the season.
As for a team positive, penalties were limited and somewhat inconsequential. They had just four penalties all game, which is part of a continued winning formula, especially when the opposition has 136 yards of penalties. Kudos to Rush for airing it out, too, forcing a few downfield defensive pass interferences.
If we had to nitpick a few negatives, the rushing game lacked. Washington has proved elite against the run this season, but neither Ezekiel Elliott nor Tony Pollard could find any level of success. Staying with team negatives, the rush defense had its worst game since week one. Antonio Gibson averaged nearly four yards per carry, and both Jonathan Williams and J.D. McKissic averaged well over that, chopping off chunk plays willingly.
Other than that, the Cowboys have one of the league’s best defenses and an offense that seems to be finding their footing, not to mention their quarterback is almost ready to return. They have a difficult schedule coming up, but the defense should keep them in just about every game the rest of the season. To another victory Monday, and a huge NFC game looming.