Last Sunday was a dark day for Dallas Cowboys fans as the team fell to the Cleveland Browns 49-38. It was an ugly loss as the defense was obliterated by the Browns running backs and Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Not to mention two costly Cowboys’ turnovers in the first half.
After games like that, especially with a 1-3 record, it’s difficult to find reasons to be optimistic about your favorite team. However, there are indeed some things to feel optimistic about the Dallas Cowboys as we head into Week 5.
Let’s dive in.
Dak Prescott’s Play
Regardless of the Cowboys’ record, Dak Prescott is playing great football. He’s on pace to shatter the single-season passing yards record with 1,690 through four games. Of course, that number is inflated as Dallas has been playing from behind most of the time.
But even still, Dak is playing his best football yet and it’s not really in garbage time. He leads the NFL in 20+ yard passes with 22, per Pro Football Focus. He’s been deadly accurate. He’s connected with all of his pass-catchers including Tight End Dalton Schultz, who took over for Blake Jarwin after Week 1.
Dak Prescott has spent the first 4 weeks of the season in a classic @SigmundBloom “SHOOT YOUR WAY OUT!” Scenario, and he’s been fantastic.— Joey Ickes (@JoeyIckes) October 7, 2020
If his teammates can even step up to the plate a little bit and help, they’re gonna strong some wins together in a hurry
Although Dak has made a couple of bad turnovers, his play has been pretty amazing over four weeks. He was near perfect after fumbling the ball versus the Atlanta Falcons on Week 2. He went toe-to-toe against Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.
The quarterback tends to get the blame from plenty of fans, but he’s far from the problem in Dallas.
Cowboys’ Turnover Problems Are Fixable
Earlier this week I wrote about how the offense was also holding the team back due to their giveaways NFL-leading giveaways. While this has been one of the biggest issues for the 1-3 Cowboys, it should be pretty solvable.
These have been mistakes by multiple stars on the team, including Quarterback Dak Prescott and Running Back Ezekiel Elliott. It hasn’t been defenses imposing their will against Dallas’ talented offense.
If the Cowboys solve their problems keeping the ball, they will quickly establish themselves as one of the best offenses in the NFL this season.
Returns from Injury
Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan got some pretty good news with a few players reporting to practice on Wednesday. Sure, the defensive woes won’t end for the Cowboys with a few players returning, but things should improve.
Some good news on the injury front, LVE, Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, Cam Erving all at practice today. LVE and Awuzie doing rehab stuff, but Brown and Erving were participating in individual drills.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) October 7, 2020
Rookie Cornerback Trevon Diggs will benefit a lot if his teammates are Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown instead of Daryl Worley and Jourdan Lewis. The Cowboys’ secondary will likely remain the weakest link of the team, but at least the projected starters at the beginning of the year will be on the field.
Not to mention the fact that Leighton Vander Esch is already doing rehab and should help out Jaylon Smith, who’s playing the worst football of his career to date.
“Easy” Four-Week Slate Ahead for Cowboys
The Cowboys were supposed to have an easy schedule in 2020. In fact, based on win totals set by sportsbook prior to the season, the Cowboys ranked 22nd in strength of schedule (via Sports Betting Dime). But for the first eight weeks of the season, the Cowboys’ schedule ranked 27th.
While Mike McCarthy’s staff has wasted three out of the first four games of the year, the next opponents aren’t as tough. While their past four rivals own a combined 10-6 record (63% winning percentage), their next four are 4-11-1 (25%).
- vs New York Giants (0-4)
- vs Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
- @ Washington Football Team (1-3)
- @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1)
Although facing Kyler Murray’s offense doesn’t sound like a treat for the Cowboys’ defense, they’re in for a friendlier slate of rivals.
Featured Image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports