Dallas Cowboys Quarterly Report

The Cowboys have played four games and it’s time to review their product.  After being embarrassed at home, the Cowboys have managed to string together three wins in a row.    They squeaked past the Bengals, beat the Giants on the road and they just shut down the Commanders today.  Given that the Giants are three and one with their only loss coming from the Cowboys, it appears that the Cowboys have at least two quality wins.  My quarterly grade is a B plus.  I know, it seems a bit low, but one must give the student time to improve.


The strength of the Cowboys is their defense.  They have allowed the least number of points in the NFC East.  They currently lead the NFL in sacks with thirteen.  Overall, they are a bend but don’t break defense.  They defend the redzone very well.  Micah Parsons draws double and triple teams allowing other members of the defense to effect opposing offenses.  The defense is suffering from the repeated absence of Javon Kearse who is one of their main enforcers in the secondary.   Trevon Diggs has improved his coverage skill and has already snagged two interceptions this year.  Donovan Wilson leads the team in tackles from his safety position, signaling a need for better play from the linebackers.  To be fair, he crashes the box quite often because the corners are covering at an above average level.  Over all the defense is playing fast, furious and well.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Arlington, Tx. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The offense is another story.  With Cooper Rush at the helm, they are scoring enough points to win games.  For most, that is enough.  However, the Cowboys inability to establish a dominating run game puts pressure on the passing attack and opposing defenses know it.  Thankfully, the offensive coaching staff is figuring out ways to win games despite their offensive short comings.  Journeyman Noah Brown is leading the club house with 213 yards, and a touchdown on 15 receptions.  CeeDee Lamb has the most receptions but only 191 yards.  Opposing defenses are keying on him knowing that he is now the Cowboy’s number one receiver.  Lamb still has a ways to go to grow into the roll.  In game one he was targeted 11 times and only caught two balls.  He had four drops in each of his next two games and against the Commanders he missed two balls.  Zeke Elliott has lost a step.  He isn’t the running back he used to be, however he is still serviceable.  He is more of a two down back and that is how the Cowboys are using him with Tony Pollard serving as both a third down back and a reliever.  The biggest offensive improvement seems to come from the pass protection.  Allowing only three sacks on the back up quarterback with a rookie at left tackle is laudable accomplishment.


Cooper Rush is the real hero for the Cowboys offense.  He finds a way to be ready for game day.  Then he goes out on the field and executes to the best of his ability.  His main key to success is never making the big mistake.  He has committed no turnovers since he has been under center.  He has taken only three sacks in three games.  His lack of sacks is a testament to the play caller, the offensive line as well as Cooper’s quick release.  He knows where to go with the football, and he never holds on to it too long.  Overall, with Cooper Rush under center, the Cowboys have found ways to win three winnable games.

CeeDee Lamb (88) de los Cowboys de Dallas atrapa el balón para un touchdown sin que Adoree’ Jackson (22) de los Giants de New York pueda impedirlo, en un partido entre ambos equipos el lunes 26 de septiembre de 2022, en East Rutherford, Nueva Jersey. (AP Foto/Adam Hunger)

The Cowboys performance against the Commanders is perhaps their best performance yet.  Though the rushing attack was paltry, Cooper Rush threw the ball well enough to win.  The Cowboys benefitted from Michael Gallup finally being back on the field.  It took a while for the Cowboys offense to warm up.  They went on two field goal drives in the first quarter while finally putting together a touchdown drive late in the second quarter.  During this drive, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore dialed up rushes from both Elliott and Pollard as well as pass plays to Lamb and Gallup.  The play calling and execution on this drive was superb and happened right when the Cowboys needed it.  Then, Trevon Diggs ended the half with an interception.


The second half started off slow for both teams.  It wasn’t until late in the third quarter that the opponents were able to score.  They both traded field goals.  The Cowboys held a five point lead heading into the fourth quarter and they were starting with the ball. Cooper Rush and CeeDee Lamb promptly put the Commanders to sleep with a two-play drive culminating in a 30 yard touchdown catch by Lamb.   The teams traded punts and then the Cowboys stood tall on a fourth down conversion attempt.  The Cowboy offense was once again stalled and then Dallas forced another interception allowing the Cowboys to score their last points of the game with just under four minutes to go.

Washington Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson (1) looks on as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) intercepts a pass intended for Dotson in the first half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

The Cowboys have not won any of their games pretty, yet they still find a way to win.  Their defense keeps the offense in it.  One might even say no Dak no problem.  Though cut and on the practice squad, Cooper Rush has performed as well as a backup quarterback could expect to perform under the circumstances.  He has solidified that he is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league.  Perhaps being cut and making it thru waivers has added some poignant motivation.  Perhaps the Cowboys are just lucky.  As a good friend of mine tells me, it’s better to be lucky than good.  The Cowboys are a bit of both.  Let’s see what the next four games hold.



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