The Playoffs are here. The Dallas Cowboys will play Sunday at 3:30 in the first round with the 10-7 San Francisco 49ers. Winter football is back in Dallas for the first time since 2018.
It’s hard to pinpoint where this Cowboys team is at on offense after a head-scratcher of a second-half of the season. Against lesser opponents, Dallas has looked dominant, a complete offense.
What once was a feared, two-dimensional offense that could pick you apart through the air or on the ground is no longer seen as such. The rushing attack has slowed to a halt and Dak Prescott has been a shell of what he is capable of.
With the exception of Micheal Gallup, Dallas is healthy heading into the playoffs. Health plays a major factor at this point in the season. With that aside, three Cowboys need to elevate their level of play for the Cowboys to make a run at the Lombardi.
- Kellen Moore
Kumbaya, Hakuna Matata, a hail mary, whatever Kellen Moore needs, he should do it immediately. Moore needs to find his version of coach Klein’s green playbook. It has been alleged Moore has been ‘saving’ plays for the playoffs and ‘holding back’ plays in the regular season. Amari Cooper said last Wednesday before the regular-season finale against the Eagles. Per Micheal Gelken, Moore has ‘some plays this week I’m (Amari Cooper) am a big part of. Hopefully, I can take advantage of the opportunity that’s been presented to me.”
Cooper caught five passes for 71 yards against the Eagles. Not sure why Moore is saving plays for a meaningless Week 18 matchup.
Amari Cooper reiterated that he feels he can help team in “huge way” on third down, in red zone. “And I think it will come. We have some plays in this week that I’m a big part of. Hopefully, I can take advantage of the opportunity that’s been given to me.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 5, 2022
Amid the late-season/postseason coach firings, Moore has been a hot commodity around the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars have spoken with the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator to lead their franchise. The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos have both requested to bring in Moore as well. Hopefully, Moore stays focused on the task at hand rather than another franchise. This team is talented enough to play the last game of the season, that much is obvious. As the commanding officer, Moore has to right his ship to make a push.
2. Dak Prescott
Statistics will show the signal-caller is playing exceptional football. Prescott is adored by Cowboys fans across the nation. Feelings aside, he has been inconsistent at times. He has missed some key throws in key situations. In Weeks 16 and 18, the quarterback played exceptional football. Both the Washington Football Team and the Philidelphia Eagles both were plagued by injuries. Prescott at his best can win a championship without a doubt. He seemed to find his groove last week, hopefully, that can continue.
Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers are the only QBs this season to pass for at least 4000 yards and 35 TDs with 10 or fewer INTs. #DallasCowboys #Dak #DakPrescott #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/r7FRWxzXbw
— Mike✭Baines (@cowboysweekly) January 10, 2022
These playoffs will rely on the shoulder of number four. He needs to will his team to solidify his team in NFL history books.
3. Greg Zuerlein
Last but most certainly not least, Greg Zuerlein. The placekicker for Dallas seems to only miss field goals in close games when it matters the most. The kicker ranks 24th in field goal (82.4%) and extra point percentage (87.8%).
-3 out of 5 loses of the Cowboys loses have came in within 3 points
-Greg Zuerlein has missed kicks in all of those games
3-5 FGM 2-3 XP (7 points)
2-3 FGM 1-2 XP (4 points)
0-1 FGM (3 Points)
The Cowboys should consider a new kicker for next year pic.twitter.com/GrcP9vq7lZ
— Micah Parsons Fan (12-5) (15-25) (@DotPrescott) January 9, 2022
A lot of games in January and February are decided by seven points or less and with a struggling offense, Dallas can’t afford to leave any points off the board. Zuerlein has cut years off fans’ lives every time he trots onto the field. Dallas is 1-3 when the kicker misses a field goal. All three of those losses were decided by three points or fewer. In the playoffs, the lights are brighter, the fans are louder, the moments are bigger, hopefully, the pressure does not get to Zuerlein. He will be a key piece to playoff success.
Featured Image Via: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports