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Cowboys Defense Setting the Tone in Playoff Push

As the Dallas Cowboys (7-5) prepare to play the Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) in another battle that will decide first place in the NFL, it’s the defense that is taking the lead for a team making a playoff push. And in the most important category, touchdowns allowed, the Dallas Cowboys are tied with the Minnesota Vikings for fewest touchdowns allowed in the NFL this season.

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The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings have allowed the least amount of TDs this season. #DallasCowboys #Skol

Being able to keep teams out of the end zone and forcing them to kick field goals will lead to a lot of wins in the NFL. You see it every week. Teams that are forced to settle for field goals rarely have positive outcomes. You saw it on display on Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints when the Cowboys defense were able to hold the Saints to only one touchdown. Their ability to force the Saints to kick a field goal and then keep them out of the end zone on 4th and goal from the one yard line were the most important plays in that game.

The Cowboys defense, sits second in points per game at 18.6, just over a point per game behind the Baltimore Ravens for the lead league. They’re tied for fifth in the NFL at 5.3 yards per play and have allowed the fourth fewest first downs in the NFL.

Where you can see how offense effects defense is that the Dallas Cowboys defense is in the bottom five in the NFL in third down conversion percentage allowed. They allow a third down conversion 42.8% of the time. They’re allowing less than two touchdowns per game this season, which is a winning formula.

Each team in the top four for fewest touchdowns allowed are in the playoff conversation. The Baltimore Ravens, the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys are putting themselves in position to contend for the Super Bowl on the backs of their defensive performance despite some limitations to their offense.

The Cowboys have a tough contest today against a Philadelphia Eagles that still has some weapons that the Cowboys will have to contain if they want to come out victorious. Though the Eagles rank 20th in the NFL in touchdowns scored and 21st in the NFL at 21.5 points per game, they’re averaging 26.5 points per game in victories against the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.

After last week’s win over the Saints, it the sky is the limit for the Cowboys moving forward, especially with their defense at the forefront.

My prediction and final thoughts for today’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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