Dallas Cowboys point/counterpoint: It’s time to get optimistic

It’s an overly other really feel for the Dallas Cowboys this week. After a in reality terrible appearing to open the season, made worse by way of accidents to Dak Prescott and different key contributors of the roster, the depleted squad got here out and controlled an disappointed win over the Cincinnati Bengals, who simply performed within the Super Bowl. The temper surrounding the group is unexpectedly approach up. But no longer everyone seems to be so positive the Cowboys have utterly became a nook. Our David Howman and Tom Ryle provide their issues of view.

David: After popping out in Week 1 and getting molly-whopped, the largest query for the Cowboys was once whether or not the offense was once in reality simply that unhealthy or if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been that just right. Since Week 1 is ripe for overreactions, many across the country opted for the previous, however Week 2 introduced robust proof to beef up the latter. Not simplest did the Cowboys glance markedly higher offensively in opposition to the Bengals, and with out their franchise quarterback to boot, however the Buccaneers protection bottled up a skilled Saints offense in identical model.

Needless to say, I’m feeling beautiful optimistic after this win. Going into the Bengals sport, I had famous a couple of spaces the place the Cowboys may just stake out benefits over their opponent to earn the win. And in a little bit of a wonder, they in reality did all of the ones issues. In fresh years that’s change into uncommon for this franchise. I’m no longer in a position to get over excited and say this group can contend for a Super Bowl, however the season – and the race within the NFC East – remains to be very a lot alive.

Tom: I loved the win up to someone, however there are causes I’m nonetheless booking judgment. First is that we’ve got to see Cooper Rush care for some consistency from week to week. There had been quite a few different instances of backup quarterbacks coming and being the hero one sport, simplest to fade as different groups ready for them. Rush is just an unknown in that side. If he can seem like he did in opposition to the Bengals, particularly the primary two drives, all neatly and just right.

It is a large if, and it carefully relates to every other factor I’m retaining a skeptical eye on. After calling the ones spectacular landing drives, Kellen Moore gave the impression to turtle, and the following loss of offense and scoring just about did the group in. A theme for my articles this week has been how he is far better with the primary 15 or so performs of a sport, that are deliberate out prematurely, or scripted. After that, his resolution making turns out to drop off precipitously. Fortunately, the remaining pressure redeemed him slightly, however he was once down to only a few choices at the playsheet with thus far to move and so little time final. He merely has to get higher in the course of the sport for this group to have good fortune.

Meanwhile, we’re nonetheless ready to see if the offensive line will proceed to hang up and if any person but even so Noah Brown, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz can also be dependable goals. You too can come with Tony Pollard in that workforce, despite the fact that they nonetheless want to get the ball in his palms extra. The younger receivers have to step up, particularly with Schultz getting banged up. Now we’re seeing every other shuffle with Dennis Houston now at the follow squad. Hopefully Michael Gallup is coming again quickly, however he might want to ramp up. There is hope that Jalen Tolbert has additionally finished his personal procedure of having in a position. On the road, Matt Farniok is now the susceptible hyperlink, and we don’t know what they’ll plan there. I believe they’re leaning to no longer making any important adjustments till Connor McGovern comes again.

Against the unexpected 2-0 Giants, they’re going to have to do extra to get a win.

David: I’ll move forward and problem you at the perception that Kellen Moore were given conservative after the primary two drives. I’ve observed this grievance so much because the sport, and I perceive coming to that conclusion in line with the consequences, however I simply don’t see it. Moore got here into this sport with a plan to devote to the run, simply as he did remaining week and simply because the Cowboys deliberate it to be within the offseason. On the primary two drives, in addition to the pressure proper sooner than halftime that yielded a box objective, the run performs have been operating neatly. Of their six drives that didn’t lead to issues, 5 of them concerned performs with large losses (runs blown up within the backfield, sacks, incompletions on first down) that led to 3rd and lengthy scenarios. Dallas additionally engineered a in reality just right pressure within the 3rd quarter that ended with a Schultz fumble.

I believe what some are calling conservative play calling is only a reaction to how this offense now operates. The losses at huge receiver and philosophical shift to a run heavy offense interprets into much less alternatives to rating issues, which is a horny drastic shift for a unit that led the NFL in issues a 12 months in the past. Take away Dak Prescott and the impact turns into a little bit extra pronounced, however the harsh truth is that the entrance workplace spent all summer season development an offense that isn’t designed to rating a lot. If Moore needs to submit issues in a rush he has to get ingenious with the play designs, however we killed him for doing that agaisnt Tampa too.

To me, the largest query heading into Week 2 was once whether or not or no longer Moore may just adapt his play calling to accommodate his backup quarterback, one thing he didn’t do in 2020. That 12 months, in video games with out Prescott, the Cowboys have been twenty eighth within the NFL in offensive EPA/play. In one sport with Rush this 12 months, they have been sixteenth in offensive EPA/play. It’s clearly an overly small pattern dimension, however for per week Moore confirmed me that this offense can continue to exist with out Prescott for a couple of weeks. And with the protection and particular groups taking a look like they’ve, that’s were given me feeling beautiful optimistic.

Tom: I’ll provide you with somewhat to your protection of Moore, however the ones failed early downs are in part on him as neatly.

Now the protection particularly is a supply of hope, as they’ve two times held some beautiful explosive gadgets from remaining 12 months below 20 issues. They did so remaining sport with out Jayron Kearse, who’s the sort of large a part of the protection. so that also is very encouraging. The move rush is taking a look like the entirety we was hoping for. Micah Parsons is appearing 0 indicators of a sophomore droop and has already begun a marketing campaign for Defensvie Player of the Year.

But this season remains to be going to hinge on what they are able to do offensively. I used to be fearful to see how Prescott carried out in Week 1, however I will be able to hope that was once only a unhealthy day on the workplace, and he doesn’t string a lot of the ones in combination. It remains to be going to come down to the issues we fearful about all offseason, the receiver corps and the offensive line. Those are very a lot works in development, and we will have to be expecting rising pains. The problem now could be to no longer let the ones blended with the early accidents purpose them to fall at the back of in what’s unexpectedly an overly difficult taking a look department.

I’ll hope for the most productive, however as I’ve stated all 12 months, I will be able to imagine it after I see it.

David: We’ll to find out much more this Monday when the Cowboys play their first divisional sport of the 12 months. But within the period in-between, I’ll be chugging the Kool-Aid.

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