Anyone who remotely follows the Dallas Cowboys knows what a roller coaster ride it can be. Since 2014, they’ve made the playoffs in only three seasons but they’ve always been close to making it to January football. Along the way, they’ve been able to shock the world with some big-time upsets but have also been on the wrong side of surprises more than once.
But in that span, never has there come a time in which the fans could feel a different level of belief in the team. Whether it was because Jason Garrett’s coaching staff didn’t inspire that kind of trust or because the talent of the team did not seem “elite,” expectations for the Cowboys have always been somewhat conservative.
After the first three weeks of the 2021 NFL season, though, that might start changing for the Dallas Cowboys. And honestly, they might be becoming must-watch TV for NFL fans.
Let’s recap what has happened so far:
Week 1: The Cowboys went toe-to-toe with the defending NFL champions and led 29-28 with 1:24 left in the clock. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up getting the win, but the Cowboys showed up against one of the very best in the league.
Week 2: In a different style of game, the Cowboys faced the Chargers’ high-powered offense and got an ugly win. But a win nonetheless. The following week, the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the same Chargers team.
Week 3: After facing two of the best teams in the AFC, the Cowboys had an easier task versus a divisional rival. They didn’t struggle, and they certainly didn’t play down to their level. Instead, they dominated the game and put 41 points up on the board.
But Monday’s matchup versus the Eagles was about much more than just a dominant win. The Cowboys were able to display what they’re all about on both sides of the ball.
We knew the Dallas Cowboys were aiming to become the league’s #1 offense. That’s what OC Kellen Moore and QB Dak Prescott preached in the preseason. And while they might still not be it, they’ve been creative enough to get there.
Moore might be a candidate for the coordinator of the year after what he’s done with the team. Each week, the Cowboys have been able to exploit the opposing defenses’ weaknesses and adapting to them. In his own words, they’re aggressively taking what they’re giving them.
You gotta love the fact that Dak Prescott's passing charts for each week have all looked different.
Kellen Moore after Week 2 on offensive philosophy: “Aggressively take what they give us.” pic.twitter.com/RbCqKp9328
— Mauricio Rodríguez (@MauNFL) September 28, 2021
Not to mention, the Dallas Cowboys’ coaches continue to find ways to involve their best players. That includes backup offensive lineman Connor McGovern who played last night as a… fullback. And performed well at it.
After years of dealing with Scott Linehan’s offense and clamoring for more ways to exploit opposing defenses, Kellen Moore is opening up his playbook in a way that only makes us wonder what he will do next.
Do you know that feeling you get when watching Andy Reid call plays and Patrick Mahomes executing them along with plenty of explosive play-makers? I’m not comparing Moore or McCarthy to Reid nor am I comparing Dak with Mahomes, but… this offense is letting off some similar vibes in terms of creativity.
Speaking of must-watch TV, what about the main character? After all the adversity Dak Prescott has overcome, the way he’s opened up about his issues with mental health, and the leadership he’s shown with the Cowboys… how can you not root for the guy? Especially when he’s playing great football while justifying the deal he got from the team.
Heck, he even got us a “Jim stare” on live TV after his rushing touchdown somehow got called short of the goal line.
— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) September 28, 2021
And although this team’s success will likely hinge on the offense, the defense is showing up week in and week out. Is it the most efficient defense? Certainly not. But through three weeks, they lead the NFL in takeaways (8).
Trevon Diggs has three interceptions. Micah Parsons is playing defensive end and linebacker as if he was still a high school football athlete. Osa Odighizuwa got 1.5 sacks versus the Eagles. The safeties look like a big strength for the team, including Jayron Kearse who was expected to be a special teamer only before Donovan Wilson’s injury.
They’ve been overcoming key injuries including one to its best defensive player, DeMarcus Lawrence.
If you haven’t bought stock on the Dallas Cowboys yet, you might be late to the party. They’re far from a perfect team, but they’re proving they belong to the NFC’s legitimate contenders in 2021.
And with a little bit of injury luck, takeaways, and good offensive play-calling, they’re capable of beating anybody in the NFL.
Featured image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports