The Cowboys Cooler: What we’ve learned so far
As usual, the NFC East is famous for bringing a level of entertainment to the NFL that no other conference seems to bring. Constant anonymous sources. Player-coach battle royales. Plot twists. This is something reserved for Dallas, Washington, New York and Philadelphia. True to form, Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season has brought its fair share of stories and dynamics to talk about in the NFC East, especially with regard to the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s examine some things we’ve learned so far.
Does Dallas have a new starting QB?
The Dallas Cowboys have a couple of interesting and unexpected things happening in Week 4. First, although not their intention, there is a new sheriff in town, and his name is Dak Prescott. After Tony Romo’s back injury in the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Prescott has been on a roll. He’s shown that he is capable of taking the reins of the Cowboys’ offense in a way Matt Cassel was not able to do last season. Seems like déjà vu, huh?
Let’s not forget the way Tony Romo got his starting job – after the injury of Drew Bledsoe. Even with Prescott producing phenomenal performances, Uncle Jerry has still not written his named starter out. Romo is not on IR. If he wants to return, his seat is being kept warm in Arlington. But it can’t be overlooked that Dak Prescott is putting forward an epic performance in Romo’s absence, and there needs to be a real conversation on who is best equipped to lead this team to a possible playoff run.
Where did Zeke go?
Where Prescott is the talk of the town in Dallas, Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth-round draft pick out of Ohio State that everyone expected to part the Red Sea this season, has been lukewarm at best. From the moment he walked into the draft, the conversation has surrounded Elliott. From his crop-top suit to his 50-kilowatt personality, everyone has been waiting to see what magic he would produce in the Star at Frisco.
He’s been in the endzone a couple of times. His stats have been solid, but nothing to make a lot of conversation about. Where is the Ezekiel Elliott that caused so much excitement at Ohio State? Where is the person the Cowboys used their first draft pick for? Every now and then, bursts of that person show up – in the Seattle game that Tony Romo was injured during, Elliott shut the mouths of everyone who thought that Kam Chancellor and the “Legion of Boom” were going to shut him down. This is the running back the Cowboys faithful are looking for. At this point, Cowboys fans can only hope Elliott finds that guy and brings him to the gridiron soon.
All things lead to Philadelphia
The biggest surprise in the NFC East this season so far has been the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have a new coach in Doug Pederson. The Chip Kelly era is over, and with Pederson, one of the biggest shocks of the season has come in Carson Wentz. Wentz, the Eagles’ second pick in the draft out of North Dakota State, has taken a team that was hardly worth discussing to a 3-0 record to start the 2016 season. Whereas their first two wins could have been seen as expected – the Eagles beat the Browns and the Dolphins respectively — the 34-3 routing of the Pittsburgh Steelers came all the way out of left field. So far, the Cowboys have been able to keep up well, with their only loss so far against the Giants in Week 2.
The next few games for the Cowboys will not be easy, but the silver lining is that they will face the Eagles fresh off a bye week the day before Halloween at home. If the Cowboys can get Ezekiel Elliott to show the phenom ability that he has by that time, and if Dak Prescott can continue his stellar performance behind center, the Cowboys-Eagles game should be quite a show. The key to the Cowboys’ success is to find a way to penetrate the Eagles’ defensive line, which has been performing well above season expectations. Jim Schwartz has taken a defense that was good to one that is easily considered the best defense in the NFL at this point. This is where the Cowboys must focus their energy – succeeding in their next couple of games and figuring out how to solve their Week 8 issue with the Eagles.
Get your football tables ready, sports fans. The Cowboys have a great chance to show exactly what they are made of in the next couple of weeks. They have had a pretty decent start; now, it’s time for the follow-through.