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The Cowboys offense has shown more sustainability at start of season, with reinforcements on the way

With more help on the way, the Cowboys offense has done enough to win with Kellen Moore calling the shots.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With how last season ended and the offseason unfolded for the Dallas Cowboys, the start of the 2022 season was set up to be a no-win situation. Any early season success, despite the Jones’ best efforts to sell it as reasons to believe in their process, would be met with skepticism that the team won’t fade down the stretch again. Losses like the one they opened the season with at home to Tampa felt more predictable, with an offense that lost so many key starters from a year ago failing to find the end zone.

Losing Dak Prescott only made the 0-1 start worse, but the Cowboys have found a way to string consecutive wins together with Cooper Rush. It’s the Dallas defense that’s the biggest story of the season so far, but quietly an offense far from full strength has shown new ways to attack opposing defenses.

Three games may not be enough of a sample size to know the Cowboys offense will continue to get better as the season goes on, but some bad injury luck has assured that fresh talent will be worked into the lineup. Rush has done more than enough to keep the Cowboys relevant while Prescott’s return is imminent, but MIchael Gallup and James Washington are also waiting to bolster a receiving corps currently led by CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown.

The Cowboys have seen rookie left tackle Tyler Smith make the transition from guard to tackle almost seamlessly, allowing just one sack in the season opener. As noted in his performance against the Giants, Smith playing tackle hasn’t hurt the Cowboys run game, which was also boosted by Jason Peters making his debut at left guard on Monday night.

With Tyler Smith more than holding his own at left tackle so far, the Cowboys tried Jason Peters at left guard in place of Matt Farniok. Peters made an immediate impact, combining on a block with Smith that produced the Cowboys longest play of the season. Tony Pollard’s 46-yard run once again proved he can get the job done between the tackles, and as the Cowboys welcome back Michael Gallup and James Washington in the coming weeks, Pollard needs to remain a point of emphasis.

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have complemented each other well, with Pollard leading the way at 5.6 yards per carry on 28 attempts to Elliott’s 40 attempts. The Cowboys have gotten back to letting their offensive line play out in space, while also catching defenses by surprise when tight ends Peyton Hendershot and rookie Jake Ferguson are used to block. Both TEs stepped up in the absence of Dalton Schultz as receivers against the Giants, and this balance should remain one of the Cowboys best looks on offense once Prescott is back under center.

The Cowboys have also used these looks to sell play-action and get receivers across the field, something Lamb did a great job of in the first half against the Giants despite dropping a potential touchdown.

Winning their first divisional game on the road in primetime was the type of win that can build momentum for the Cowboys, with back-to-back weeks where both Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore have responded to the worst possible start to the season. Beating the Giants without Prescott has turned a lot of Cowboys fans who were the team’s harshest critics in the offseason back into the confident fans. They understand the best is yet to come for this 2-1 squad sitting within a game of the 3-0 Eagles in the NFC East.

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