The Dallas Cowboys are 9-3 through 12 games this season, and have the easiest stretch of their schedule ahead of them. While Cowboys fans are becoming excited and confident about the outlook of this team, many critics are continuing to try and dampen expectations. People all across the media, specifically analysts such as ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Dan Orlovsky continue reiterating that the team will fail in the postseason, and they are not as impressive as the Philadelphia Eagles.
While the Cowboys have failed to reach the conference championship game in over 25 seasons, this team does feel different for a few reasons.
This current roster is the most talented team Dallas has had since it last won the Super Bowl in the 1995 season.
Looking at this current team in Dallas from top to bottom, there are very few weaknesses. The defense leads the NFL in sacks by a wide margin, the offense is the highest-scoring unit in the league since QB Dak Prescott’s return from injury, the running game is as potent as any across the league, WR CeeDee Lamb is playing like a top ten wide receiver, and the best defensive player in the NFL plays for Dallas in Micah Parsons.
While the team looks dangerous at every position, the team is still getting a major piece back from injury in the near future. Left tackle Tyron Smith has returned to practice for the team. This loaded roster now gets to add a future Hall of Fame offensive lineman to the mix.
✭ NFC Rankings ✭— Outlaw Cowboy ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭ (@Outlaw_CowboyFB) December 7, 2022
Dak Prescott - 1st in EPA/play
Tony Pollard - 1st in Yds/touch
CeeDee Lamb - Top 5 in Yds, TDs, YAC and EPA
Cowboys D - 1st in EPA/play
Cowboys ST - 3rd in DVOA pic.twitter.com/BZcOgt3lzc
The Dallas offense since Dak Prescott returned:— Dallas Cowboys Fan page (@dcowboyslovers) December 8, 2022
⭐️ 42.4% TD Drive Percentage (1st)
⭐️ 37.2 points per game (1st)
⭐️ 411 yards per game (2nd) pic.twitter.com/qVWgsSbpZ7
The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff is one of the best around the entire NFL.
While head coach Mike McCarthy deserves some criticisms for his clock-management and the amount of penalties the Cowboys continue to commit, he equally deserves praise and recognition for what he has accomplished with this team. McCarthy went 4-1 through a difficult stretch this season without starting QB Dak Prescott. There is no question that this team responds to adversity much better under McCarthy than they used to under former head coach Jason Garrett. If the Cowboys win Sunday against the Houston Texans, the franchise will have back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the first time since 1996. It is also important to note that McCarthy has won a Super Bowl in 2011 with the Green Bay Packers, so he has that experience to take with him in the postseason.
With all that being said, McCarthy is not the only one who deserves his flowers on the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn continues to prove he is the best assistant coach in the NFL, with the Cowboys defense playing the best football in the league right now. It has become imperative that the Dallas Cowboys can capitalize on having Quinn on the staff, as it becomes increasingly more likely that he will receive immense interest from other teams for their head coaching position.
Cowboys run defense vs last three RB’s faced— Ernie ✭ (@es3_09) December 6, 2022
Dalvin Cook: 11 ATT, 72 yards
Saquon Barkley: 11 ATT, 39 yards
Jonathan Taylor: 21 ATT, 82 yards
Run defense has been much improved since the Green Bay game. Dan Quinn got the message.
The NFC is the least impressive it has been in recent memory.
A large reason it feels imperative the Cowboys make the Super Bowl this season is that the NFC conference is as wide open as it has ever been. The Cowboys have the third best record in the conference, only behind the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and the Minnesota Vikings (10-2). While the Eagles record deserves its recognition, the team does not feel as dominant as their record says. They have obvious holes in their roster, and appear beatable. The Cowboys should feel confident about their chances against the Vikings, considering they dominated them 40-3 in Minnesota just a few weeks ago.
The biggest reason the NFC feels so winnable for the Cowboys is the absence of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who just handed Dallas one of their three losses this season. The Packers seem to be the Cowboys kryptonite over the last several seasons, and it is very unlikely the team makes the playoffs this year. QB Tom Brady also does not look as dominant as he usually is, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sitting at just 6-6 so far on the season. The San Francisco 49ers definitely appeared as a serious postseason threat throughout this season, however, QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury on Sunday. While their roster is still loaded, Cowboys fans should feel better about their chances knowing they are now looking weak at the quarterback position.
Monday night’s win is huge for the Buccaneers and their chances of winning the NFC South.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 6, 2022
It feels like whoever comes in second in the NFC East (right now that would be the Dallas Cowboys) is headed to Tampa Bay in the Wildcard Round.
Still five weeks to go, though.
Cowboys fans get a bad reputation among other football fans for their constant support and annual high-expectations for the team. Despite who is on their roster, or what their record was the previous season, fans in Dallas always believe the team can win their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. This year however, Cowboys-faithful have a legitimate reason to believe the team can contend with anyone in the league.