We’re approximately 1/4 of the way into a long season so it’s too early to know exactly what this team is but so far. IMO, here are the team’s strengths and its vulnerabilities:
- The pass rush. Going into Sun’s game vs the Washington Whatevers, Dallas had the most sacks in the NFL. Parson wreaks havoc and D-Law has also been very active.
- The pass defense. Through 4 games, we’ve given up less than 200 net yards passing in any game. That’s the best pass D we’ve seen through 4 games since 1977- Doomsday II. (A team that won a SB)
- Young players showing immediate impact– Tyler Smith, Jake Ferguson, and UFA Payton Hendershot have been immediate impact players. Sam Williams has shown major upside. Tyler Smith has been excellent at LT. Imagine if we found our next LT for a decade.
- Backup QB– Cooper Rush has been outstanding. He doesn’t possess a great arm or much athleticism, but his mental grasp of the game is his strength. He’s probably a liability as DCs get a book on him, but for a backup QB for a few games, he’s perfect.
- Zeke and Pollard are a potent tandem– it appears the team has finally recognized the importance of Pollard getting more snaps. And a fresher Zeke is a better Zeke.
- Dan Quinn– he has shown great ability to utilize his players at every position and his rotations in the DL have kept players fresh. The players love him.
- Stopping the run-as good as our defense has been, we’re still vulnerable to a good running game. Tampa ran all over us, avg 6 yds a carry. Wash had 100 yards rushing- in the first half yesterday. This MUST improve if this team wants to be a serious contender. Because if we get behind and can’t stop the run, we’re in trouble.
- Developing a consistent running game– we’ve had some good moments in the running game, but have lacked consistency. We ran well against the giants, but struggled against the commanders.
- Kellen Moore– now in his fourth season as OC, Moore continues to struggle finding more creative ways to use his talent. Tampa Bay defenders laughed at how easy it was to know what we’re going to do. And his play calling has lacked any kind of rhythm. He does deserve some credit for helping Cooper Rush stay within himself. I don’t see a young genius when I look at Moore. I see a guy JJ really likes.
- Vulnerable to physical teams– the Bucs have a very physical defense. And going back to last season, the Cowboys struggled against teams (like the 49ers) who play smash mouth football. The Cowboys have been too soft for many years. They still need to prove they can handle teams that try to mug you.