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    Cowboys football: Midseason grades for every postion group

    As we stand at the half-point of this year's NFL season, the sit nice and pretty at 6-2. Personally, I never envisioned they would be where they are right now, as once went down with a thumb — it felt like the season was a wrap.

    But as we all saw, quarterback Cooper Rush and the defense held down the fort until Prescotts' return, and now, the Boys are shaping out as possible Super Bowl contenders.

    With a much-needed bye this week (to heal their wounds), the Cowboys return to action next week against the — which should be an exciting matchup.

    But before we get too ahead of ourselves, I wanted to look at something else. And that's how each position group performed in the season's first half.

    While the Cowboys are among the best in the league (record-wise), it doesn't mean all their position groups deserve an A+, as some have had their flaws. So with that in mind, check out the grades I gave to each group below.

    Quarterback: B+ 

    We start with the QBs. And before people riot over a B+ grade, hear me out. After Prescott went down in Week One, Rush was the new sheriff in town, but the perception was the offense would stall with him in the lineup.

    However, the offense stayed alive, and Rush played mistake-free football until the Boys saw the Eagles. While some felt that Rush should have stayed in, Prescott came back and provided a resurgence to the offense.

    I get that critics may say: “Well, he did badly against the Lions!” or “He only looked good because it was the Bears– Rush could have done the same!”

    But he played high-efficient football against a team HE'S SUPPOSED TO BEAT— and he will only improve. Plus, you saw Prescott make throws that Rush didn't make during his time. I almost forgot he dropped the most points by an NFL team this season, which Rush never did.

    Comparing both is like trying to put apples and oranges against each other, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. I give a B+ to the QBs because Rush did a solid job holding down the fort, but it wasn't spectacular.

    On Prescott's side, this was his first game back in which he's looked effective, and he needs to continue on that track (especially for the money he's worth). He won't always need to be the hero every week, as the team can rely on their run game and defense in some games. But he needs to play up to par for the Boys to make noise in the postseason.

    Running Backs: A+

    Through eight games, the Dallas Cowboys rank 11th in rushing yards per game (131.5).

    The duo of Elliott and Pollard has been electric, and it's been of the most productive run attacks the Cowboys have had in a while. For me, it's weird to see because I was used to seeing their offense lean more to the pass.

    But once Prescott went down, OC Kellen Moore leaned on the run, and it paid off. While you will likely see more passing plays with Prescott, sticking with the run at a healthy rate is crucial to the team's success.

    An efficient run game and lethal passing attack make the Cowboys harder to beat and less one-dimensional. Plus, it also keeps the ball away from the opposing team.

    For a deeper dive into the run game, check out Blogging The Boys David Howman's piece, which reveals the unsung hero behind the resurgent of the Cowboys' run game.

    Wide Receivers: B+

    After losing wideouts and in the offseason, you figured production would drop in the WR room. With as their new WR1 and as their WR2 (once he returned), there were more questions than answers with this group.

    However, so far, the group hasn't been that bad.

    Arguably the biggest surprises from the group were the arrival of and the DNPs that has accumulated. (I mean, he was JUST A THIRD ROUND PICK.)

    Anyways. Beyond Brown and Tolbert, Lamb has proven every week that he can be that borderline WR1 for the Boys, but beyond him, no one else has stepped up. I understand that Gallup just returned from injury, Washington is still hurt, and the team has other pass catchers who have been solid.

    However, until everyone gets up to speed, they get a B+ for their efforts. The Cowboys were just linked to trade talks with Houston Texans wideout Brandin Cooks, so if you don't think the wideouts are that bad — the team has other thoughts.

    Plus, according to Lineups.com, Lamb has been targeted 73 times, which equates to 30.8% of the team's targets. And, if something were to happen to him, it's hard to predict who would step up as their new number-one guy.

    (Someone convince Jerry to sign OBJ, so we can see the Cowboys have more fun.)

    Tight Ends: A+

    The tight-end group has arguably been my favorite to watch so far this season. From , , and , it's refreshing to see the group well-rounded from top-to-bottom.

    When Prescott isn't searching for Lamb, Gallup, or Brown, the TEs have been his security blanket, as all three are viable pass-catchers. And my oh my, their blocking in the run game has been stellar, as they're just mauling defenders to open up lanes for Pollard and Elliott.

    There aren't any complaints over here about this group, but since I have Schultz in fantasy, my only message is: Get him the ball more!!!

    Offensive Line: A-

    I don't think any fan imagined the offensive line to be good this season, as the team lost two starters in the offseason and had get hurt early on. However, the unit has proved the doubters wrong and has played surprisingly well.

    While they have given up 12 sacks, the line has kept their quarterbacks clean and been effective in the running attack. My only concern is the lack of depth because if someone else were to go down with an injury, the team doesn't have anyone to fill in.

    However, with Smith coming back down the road, this line could be among the best this postseason and for the foreseeable future. Expect a possible lineup of Smith, Tyler Smith, , Zach Martin, and Terrence Steele.

    But for now, they have looked good.

    Defensive Line & Linebackers: B+/borderline A

    For those confused, hear me out. The and linebacker play have had massive moments where fans are screaming about how the defense is the best in the league, but then you see them break down and allow offenses to dominate them.

    Arguably the biggest flaw they have is . Ranked near the bottom of the league in rushing yards allowed, this is something the Cowboys' will have to fix as they head into the second gear of the season.

    Despite their major flaw, these units get solid grades because of the havoc they have caused this year. From stellar play from , , and Dorance Armstrong to seeing Osa Odighizuwa eat offensive lines alive — it's been a sight to watch.

    Also, their linebackers look promising, as Leighton Vander Esch has played well, and it looks like the Cowboys found another stud on defense with . The has been tenacious through eight games, as they lead the NFL in total sacks with 33 and have 61 QB hits.

    But please fix the run defense and contain mobile quarterbacks better. Please and thank you.

    Defensive Backs and Safeties: A-

    It's weird to say that the Cowboys have a solid group, as it was always a weakness for them in the past. But this season, this unit has looked strong, and they only allow 178.4 passing yards per game.

    Their notable stars are , , and . Although they lost to a season-ending injury, this group is still solid. However, just like the offensive line, they can't afford another guy going down.

    Special Teams: A-

    Lastly, we have special teams. K has been reliable this year, with only three missed FGs, and P ranks Top-12 in punt average. These two guys are doing their job and not giving headaches to Cowboy fans.

    However, I didn't go with an “A+” because I need a special team touchdown from the team already. KR/PR KaVontae Turpin has gotten super close to taking it all the way, but we keep getting teased.

    Despite no scores, Turpin ranks Top Five in kickoff and punt return average.

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    Rocky Garza Jr
    Rocky Garza Jr
    Rolling with the Boyz since 96'. Chop up sports with me on Twitter @rockssjr.

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    lonewolfz28

    It would help if they got Turpin more involved in the passing game, besides just as a play-action decoy running fake jet sweeps.

    VAM

    While a couple of the grades are a little lofty, I agree with most the analysis overall.