The Dallas Cowboys came into the 2019 season with high expectations coming off a 10-6 record and an NFC East crown from a year ago. Once the schedule was released back in April, the first three games of the season were looked at as a cakewalk for the Cowboys facing the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins. If games were played on paper then yes, those games would definitely fit that description, but this the NFL, a collection of the greatest football players on earth. In the first three weeks of the season, the Cowboys have shown they can cut the head off the snake and put teams they should beat away when the opportunity presents itself.
The Giants often play the Cowboys tough, unless it’s in a season opener. They came into week one 1-9 vs the Cowboys in the first game of the year, with their only win coming in 2016 by one point 20-19. After taking their first possession of the season in for a touchdown and establishing an early 7-0 lead, the game essentially ended for Giants. The Cowboys would score touchdowns on five consecutive possessions mostly from the arm of Dak Prescott. He set a franchise record for a season opener with 405 yards and tied his own career-high with 4 touchdown passes, not to mention a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
The Cowboys would get their fifth consecutive win over the Giants 35-17 and improved to 10-1 against their division rival in season openers. Now that’s how you start off a new season.
The Washington Redskins have been the Cowboys doormat just like the Giants over the last few years. Heading into week two the Cowboys had won five of the previous six games in this rivalry, however, their toughest games against the Redskins lately have been on the road. They won a tough four-point game in 2016 and suffered a three-point loss in 2018. This time, the Cowboys would leave no doubt about who was the superior team.
Just like week one, the Cowboys fell behind 7-0, and then the floodgates opened. The Cowboys scored 21 unanswered points all from the arm of Prescott to seize control of the game. The Redskins tried to make it interesting, though, as they cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter. After adding a field goal, Ezekiel Elliott dropped the hammer scoring a touchdown with just over five minutes left, putting the Cowboys up 17 as they went on to win 31-21.
Prescott would have arguably the best game of his career as he completed 26 of 30 passes and 3 touchdowns. He ended the game completing his final 18 passes (14 of 14 in the second half). Elliott finally got his legs under him and ran for 111 yards on 23 carries. These two have dominated the Redskins since entering the NFL in 2016. Prescott is 6-1 as a starter against them and Elliott is 5-1 (missed a game in 2017 due to a suspension) in the games played in versus Washington. Another inferior opponent the Cowboys put away rather easily.
Week three saw the Cowboys face what many consider to be the worst team in the NFL, the Dolphins. The first half was rather sloppy for the Cowboys, especially offensively, as they held a narrow 10-6 halftime lead. Once the second half kicked off, Prescott engineered back to back touchdown drives of 75 and 76 yards respectively. The first was capped off with his second touchdown pass of the game to Amari Cooper and the second he ended with his own legs on an 8-yard score, as the Cowboys took an 18 point lead and virtually put the Dolphins out of their misery, as they won 31-6.
It would have been easy for the Cowboys to lay an egg at home riding the momentum of two division wins and facing one of the worst in the league, thinking they had it won before it started. These Cowboys have shown so far they are different from years past, though, as they haven’t let these inferior teams breathe once they’ve smelled blood.
The Cowboy’s biggest test will be this weekend as they face the New Orleans Saints on the road on Sunday Night Football. This is tricky game because normally facing the Saints without Drew Brees, who suffered ligament damage to the thumb of his throwing hand in week two, would be considered an easy win but they didn’t miss a beat in a huge road victory against the Seattle Seahawks last week. The following week, they face Aaron Rodgers and the currently undefeated Green Bay Packers at home, a team that has handed them several gut-wrenching losses in Arlington over the years. The honeymoon period is over and now we’ll get a better indication of where the 2019 Cowboys are after the next two weeks.