DALLAS — They say give NFL defensive coordinators three or four games, and they’ll figure you out. That is true. We’ve seen countless examples. But I’m gonna predict that formula isn’t work so well against the 2021 Dallas Cowboys.
That offense is really good, people. Remember those amazing San Francisco 49ers offenses with Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, John Taylor and oh yeah, Jerry Rice. Offensive weapons seemingly all over creation. Remember those guys? That’s who these Dallas Cowboys remind me of through four games.
They have options, lots of options. And I’ve thought about this many times over the years. Every other team in the NFL has the same position players on the roster as those 90’s Niners teams, and like the Cowboys this season. But here’s the thing, some players are more talented than others, and some teams just have that ‘mojo’ more than others.
Dak and company look like that team to me. Just run down the list off the top of your head. Prescott, Elliott, Pollard, Lamb, Cooper, Gallup (currently injured) and TE’s Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin.
Watching Sunday against the Panthers, a team with really solid defense, was almost like watching Dallas run drills at training camp at times. It looks smooth. The timing between the quarterback and pass catchers is right down the middle. The offensive line exploded off the ball for run blocking schemes.
The running backs, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, were getting second level almost every time. The Panthers came in as the number one rush defense in the league, and looked like the last place team against the rush by 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys rushed 34 times for 245 yards with an average of more than SEVEN yards per carry. Who doesn’t love that?
I was at training camp with the Cowboys in late July. There seemed to be something different at every Dak press conference statement, even Zeke for the silliness that always brings to that setting. This team is focused on the mission at hand, and not unlike the 2014 San Antonio Spurs who defined focus after not winning the 2013 NBA Title, and then were just remarkable the following season leaving the Miami Heat wondering what happened on their quest to threepeat.
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is becoming more and more attractive for whatever jobs come open once we get to the offseason. He and Prescott are on the same page, and there is no question about that. And Dak has something to prove, if for no other reason he’s motivated after losing the majority of his previous season. His ability to escape, and still do something special is, well, special. He’s got that look and that demeanor that says ‘We don’t wanna play that guy this week!’
And Elliott was another preseason story with the way he rededicated himself, and his numbers thus far are suggesting that. And don’t forget about Tony Pollard. That guy flat out runs hard. It’s been fun to watch.
For all the criticism Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have received, and some of it deserved, they’ve drafted really well. Full disclosure that I don’t have eyes on every game every Sunday. I mean who does? But I watch box scores, and I look at the numbers, and for those of us who love the debate, or the debatable I should say, the Dallas Cowboys arguably have the best offense in the NFL right now. Keep your eyes open. It might only get better.