Being that the Dallas Cowboys are considered “America’s Team” it is easy for fans to jump both on, and off the band-wagon each week while riding this Jerry Jones funded roller-coaster of a season. After beating a mediocre Philadelphia Eagles team convincingly by a score of 37-10 on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys improved their record to 4-3 respectively and sit atop the NFC East division in first place.
However, there remains some cause for concern.
Yes, the Cowboys came through and delivered a big win against their division rival, in the wake of Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson guaranteeing a win for the Eagles early last week. Dallas running-back Ezekiel Elliot’s superb play helped lead the way, as he gained 111 rushing yards and scored a touchdown. He had the most notable post-game take on the subject from any of the players, saying, “Honestly, we don’t give a f–k what Doug Pederson says,” per Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The average point differential for Dallas this season is ten points a game. This number is heavily influenced by the results of playing teams like the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, and now includes the mediocre Eagles who lack severely on defense allowing almost 27 points a game.
Statistically, the Cowboys look to have one of the best offenses in the NFL. However, as a team they are dead even in turnover margin sitting right in the middle of the pack. Playing quality defenses like the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, they have struggled and made 6 turnovers total in those games.
Ranking 20th in the league in passing and 14th in rushing, the Eagles offense has been mediocre at best. Quarterback Carson Wentz is failing to live up to the big contract he signed a few years ago, and despite being mentioned as an MVP candidate in the past, seems to be struggling more this season. Although he holds a respectable 13:4 TD/INT ratio, he’s completing barely more than 60% of his passes which makes it difficult for the Eagles offense to establish any sort of momentum.
Let’s face it, averaging less than two passing touchdowns per game in the modern-NFL makes it difficult for anyone to compete, and as a result the Eagles currently rank as a sub-par team at 3-4.
Dallas is optimistic, and this weekend’s win was a gutsy-win against adversity and critics. However, they have a tough schedule ahead of them in the next month or so. After what may be presumed as an easy road matchup at the New York Giants, they will host a hot Vikings team who has one three games straight. Then, they will take their current 1-2 road act with them and travel to a scrappy Detroit Lions team. After that, they will head to Foxbourough for a contest with a still-undefeated Patriots team whose defense is wreaking havoc on the rest of the league allowing only eight points per game and forcing a league-high 16 turnovers. Four days later, they will host a one-loss Bills team who is surprising teams across the league each week.
It’s time for the Cowboys to hit their mid-season stride. Otherwise, fans will begin jumping of Jerry’s ride and chalk this season up as a failure. Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot have the ability to deliver wins for this talented Cowboys team, but it will be intriguing to see how they matchup against these good defenses in the coming weeks. As always, head coach Jason Garrett will be under a microscope too.
Let’s just not get excited about a win over the Eagles who seem destined to crash and burn. They aren’t even in the same zip code talent-wise, as the team that won a Super Bowl just a few seasons ago.
Header Photo Credit: Sky Sports