Ranking the top players from the Dallas Cowboys will be difficult if they keep winning like this. The team faced Zach Wilson and Daniel Jones in back-to-back weeks, but it’s hard to deny what’s been happening on the field—the 2023 team is exceptional.
Each week, the top seven players from the game will be ranked.
Depending on how the Cowboys perform, there could be the same names or seven different ones every week. It won’t be based on just the best players on the roster. This way, it gives players who might not be household names the ability to shine a light on their impact for the week.
Here are the top seven players from Week 2.
7. Trevon Diggs, CB
Trevon Diggs got an interception at the end of the game, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of how great he was defending Jets receivers.
The newly paid cornerback in Dallas is playing with a ton of physicality that is taking his game to a new level. No one knows if he’ll match his 11 interceptions from 2021, but Diggs is well on his way to snagging another All-Pro season.
6. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE
DeMarcus Lawrence earned the respect of his peers by being selected to the NFL’s Top 100 despite not having the best career sack numbers. Lawrence’s game is defined by much more than what appears on a stat sheet.
The Pro Bowl player has developed into one of the best edge players in the NFL, and that was on display against the Jets from their first offensive snap. On a routine handoff from Zach Wilson to Breece Hall, Lawrence knifed into the backfield for a loss, which set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Cowboys’ defense allowed just 64 yards rushing, and Lawrence was a big reason why the line had so much success defending the run. Not to mention, Micah Parsons and Lawrence earned a 94.4 grade from PFF for their Week 2 performances, the best defensive grades in the NFL for the week.
5. Brandon Aubrey, K
Brandon Aubrey was perfect against the Jets. It’s Aubrey’s first time appearing on the list, for good reason. With the Cowboys’ offense struggling to score touchdowns in the red zone, the team relied on Aubrey to get points on the board.
The former USFL placekicker was five of five in field goal attempts from 35, 21, 55, 26, and 30 yards. Aubrey also nailed his PAT of the day, which is vital for Cowboys fans to see. On a day when it was tough to score against a good Jets defense, Aubrey became a weapon the Cowboys needed.
4. Zack Martin, RG
Zack Martin was tasked with the toughest matchup of the day, going against the Jets star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Martin proved reliable as ever, allowing just one hurry and pressure on the day.
It was a tough day to move the ball on offense, but the offensive line kept Dak Prescott clean, allowing just one sack. Again, the Jets might have the second-best defense in the NFL, but Martin and the rest of the line played a great game.
Martin suffered an ankle injury at the end of the game, but it looks like he’ll be okay heading into Week 3. Before the season, Martin earned a 99 rating on Madden, and it seems like, so far, he’s living up to that standard.
3. Dak Prescott, QB
For all the talk about Dak Prescott and his turnover issues, the quarterback has yet to turn the ball over two weeks into the season. Yes, he almost had the near pick-six throwing to Sauce Gardner, but the defender dropped it, so you live to fight another day.
Considering his first two games were in the worst weather conditions possible and against a defense that’s right up there in takeaways in the NFL, I would say Prescott’s start to the season has been impressive.
He’s not asked to throw for 500 yards like he was often asked to do in previous seasons. Under Mike McCarthy’s new offense, it’s about efficiency and not making mistakes. Prescott has checked both those boxes.
No. 4 still earned a 112.2 passer rating, threw for 255 yards, two touchdowns, and completed over 80 percent of his passes. If he plays like that all season, there should be confidence the Cowboys at least match their win total from last year.
2. CeeDee Lamb, WR
CeeDee Lamb has been on an absolute tear since Prescott returned healthy last year. Since Week 7 of 2022, Lamb has 1,170 receiving yards, fourth among receivers behind Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, and Davante Adams. It looks like he’s a part of some good company.
"That is nearly impossible to defend."— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) September 19, 2023
CeeDee Lamb is off to a red-hot start with 15 catches for 220 yards through two games @Andy_Benoit explains how part of his success can be chalked up to great play design ️ pic.twitter.com/zXdZyzJzzh
Entering the season, many wondered how Lamb would fit into McCarthy’s West Coast offense, but the proof is in his past experiences. During his time as the play-caller in Green Bay, McCarthy had Davante Adams and he got him the ball as often as possible.
McCarthy has a similar player in Lamb and has created unique ways to get him the ball. There was a play against the Jets where Lamb was lined up as a would-be tight end, chipped a defensive end on his way to release from the block and catch the ball for a positive gain.
Currently, No. 88 has 220 receiving yards, which is sixth in the NFL. Even if Brandin Cooks is back in the lineup against the Arizona Cardinals, Lamb should still see his fair share of targets against a secondary that allowed Daniel Jones to throw for 321 yards.
1. Micah Parsons, DE
Micah Parsons was on an impressive pace to start last season, but it looks like he’s even more dominant through the two weeks of the 2023 season. For all of his early career success, there could be a giant chip on his shoulder, considering he’s been the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row.
Parsons currently sits as PFF’s highest-graded defender at 93.6, having three sacks, three quarterback hits, six hurries, and hasn’t missed a tackle.
A reason for his success could be attributed to how quickly he’s playing. According to Next Gen Stats, Parsons’s pass rush get-off was clocked at 0.57 seconds, the fastest for any player over the past two seasons.
If the Lion keeps pace with his expectations of greatness, he could be in the running for MVP by the end of the season.