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    5 Of Dallas’ Next 6 Games Pose A Real Challenge For The Cowboys

    Through four weeks of the season, the have taken care of business. They sit at 3-1, capitalizing on a stretch of winnable games to start the season.

    That's not to say the team hasn't impressed thus far. They can be considered one of the league's surprises through the first quarter of the season.

    They continue to dominate up front offensively, boasting an elite rushing attack led by rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott.

    Dak Prescott continues to improve on a weekly basis, and most importantly, remains turnover free.

    The moment has never seemed too big for either first-year player. But now things get tougher.

    Five of the next six games for Dallas are against tough opponents. Luckily for Dallas, a tilt with the league-worst is thrown in the mix. We will learn much more about what this team is made of in the coming weeks.

    Here are some thoughts about the team as they face their toughest stretch of games on the year.

    Surviving Key Injuries/Suspensions

    When I look at how the Cowboys are built, it is clear who the most important players are on this team. Outside of the obvious importance on the position, it can be argued that Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith are the next up in terms of importance for this team's success.

    With  to key slot coverage corner and La'el Collins, it was a rather impressive victory this past Sunday, considering. Not to mention missing their two best pass rushers as well.

    The fact Dallas has survived these injuries and , all while looking pretty good in the process, says a lot about the team.

    I get Prescott is the main difference from the play of last year's quarterbacks, but this team clearly has a different aura about it.  The fact Dallas will get some of their key guys back in the coming weeks should provide a big boost as the schedule gets tougher.

    Either way, their play with a depleted lineup last week was encouraging.

    Pass Rush Must Improve

    If Dallas wants to be for real and hang with some of the teams coming up on their schedule, the must improve now.

    Getting back next week will help the team, but this unit ranks towards the bottom of the league in with six. This is the biggest question mark and scare for this team moving forward. Yes the team is 3-1, but the skill of opposing quarterback play on the schedule will rise in the coming weeks.

    Facing off against some of the league's best quarterbacks in the coming weeks, some in their house, will be truly tough tests. and will shred Dallas if the pass rush does not improve.

    When you look at some of the other upcoming match-ups too, Dallas has other good quarterbacks coming up that could perform well if not pressured by our front. , , and even cannot be allowed to get comfortable in the pocket.

    How Will Dallas Look If Forced Off-Script?

    This one is an interesting one for me to analyze.

    I love . I appreciate and respect everything he has accomplished thus far this year. I get that he hasn't had to be the guy to carry the team, make the big plays down the field, and bring this team back out of huge deficits. So there is an unknown element there as to where he stands in that portion of his game.

    But it will be intriguing to see how Dallas looks if their run game is taken away or if Prescott is forced to carry the team offensively. Yes, the team fell behind 14-0 on Sunday, but it was still early enough to stick with their .

    This will most likely present itself in the coming weeks against better teams and some potent offenses. Not saying Prescott can't do it, but this is the main thinking that goes into bringing a guy like back in for the .

    You have to ask yourselves this…

    If Dallas gets in a high-scoring game or falls behind, are they truly built to hang around in these types of games without Tony Romo at the helm?

    Just some food for thought.

    Do you think the Cowboys will continue to win games and surprise in the coming weeks — weather the storm — or fall victim to this tough stretch of games? Test number one starts this Sunday against Cincinnati.

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    Justin Grohowski
    Justin Grohowski
    Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan behind enemy lines here in New Jersey. CBS Sports employee and contributor for InsideTheStar.com.

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    Kevin Black

    I believe they have a chance against Cincinnati due to the Bengals erratic behavior and not having Tyler Eifert available. Green Bay I think will take the Cowboys back behind the woodshed. Playing in GB for the first time for Dak and Zeke might be too much to overcome. Our lack of pass rush will really hurt against GB.

    John Williams

    Green Bay will probably be the game that brings the hype train to a halt. Not that they will be bad, but when you lose a game it makes everyone question everything. I think they are good enough to beat Cincy, but it’s going to be a very tough matchup. Probably comes down to the wire.

    jgrohowski

    Completely agree John. I could see this game going either way. Cincinnati is definitely the most complete team Dallas has faced thus far.

    Green Bay/Pittsburgh scare me, especially on the road. With our pass rush, or lack there off, we just don’t match up well against potent passing offenses, even if our secondary has been playing well. Can’t give elite passers all day to throw. As I mentioned in my comment to Kevin above, I’d rather go up against a defensive oriented team rather than a team like Green Bay. At least then you know our strength (Offensive Line) would be going against their strength instead of getting our weakness (pass rush) exposed.