Three weeks into the NFL regular season, the Dallas Cowboys look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They won two of their three games, with their only loss being in Tampa Bay against the defending champion Bucs on a last-second field goal. They have one of the best offenses in the league and their defense has greatly improved from last season. Here are five reasons why the Dallas Cowboys are a team to watch out for this year.
1. Divisional Dominance
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have dominated their NFC East divisional opponents in recent times. In games started by Prescott since the 2018 season, the Cowboys have won 12 of their 14 games against opponents in the division. This includes their slaughter of the Philadelphia Eagles in week 3 while Washington was blown out by the Bills and the Giants fell to 0-3 on the season. The Dallas Cowboys are the clear and heavy favorites to win the NFC East right now.
2. Winning Formula
Since Dak Prescott became the quarterback, the Dallas Cowboys are undefeated in his starts when they run the ball more than they pass it. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league when healthy, as they are right now. When the Cowboys rushing attack gets rolling, everything else opens up for them as well. Prescott does not have to force throws because the respect for the ground game softens the defensive coverage. When offensive coordinator Kellen Moore sticks to the game plan and the line is healthy, the Prescott Cowboys have been unstoppable.
3. Two Backs Are Better Than One
Ezekiel Elliot had a much-needed big performance on Monday Night Football against the Eagles. He has struggled since last year and there were concerns about what he has left in the tank. He still has plenty after going off for 116 total yards and two touchdowns on 20 touches. Additionally, he now has help in the backfield from the emerging Tony Pollard. Less volume for Zeke could potentially result in higher quality. Pollard has been explosive in his expanded role, providing 248 total yards and a touchdown on 35 touches.
4. MVP Dak Prescott
Before his injury last season, Dak Prescott was off to a scorching hot start throwing the ball. He was on a ridiculous pace to eclipse 6000 passing yards while destroying the single-season record. This season he is off to an excellent start. He has been efficient while playing with relaxed confidence. He currently has two new career highs in completion percentage with an outstanding 77.5 and an impressive 110.1 passer rating. This is the best version of Prescott and he is a dark horse candidate to win the NFL MVP award.
5. Underrated Defense
It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in the entire NFL in the 2020 season. It was so bad that it’s easy to forget that they were ranked in the top ten defensively in the 2019 season. Mike Nolan was correctly fired after just one season and replaced by a huge upgrade in Dan Quinn. With how good the offense is, the defense does not need to be spectacular, but being in the top half makes them extremely dangerous all around. Trevon Diggs, Jaylon Smith, and Micah Parsons are all emerging stars that should continue to improve throughout the season.