After suffering the number of injuries and the value of those injured, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a team pack it in and begin looking toward the offseason and subsequent regular season as their next shot at making a playoff run. Watching the Dallas Cowboys the last couple of games, first against the still undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, you'd never guess this was a team that had only two wins at the halfway point and was missing its starting quarterback.
This is a team that is showing fight and is playing its best football since Dak Prescott was lost for the season.
In the 31-28 win over the Vikings, the Cowboys joined the rest of the NFC East with three wins apiece and sit a half-game behind the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the division. With a pivotal divisional matchup with the Washington Football Team looming on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys have an opportunity to take control of the NFC East with a win.
And they look like a team that's not satisfied with “moral victories.” They're still grinding away trying to find a way to win games and hopefully make the playoffs. There will be no tanking with this team. To hear CeeDee Lamb tell it, they're “hungry.”
Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb on team's mindset: "We're very hungry, and we're looking forward to the next game. We're grateful to come out with this dub. It was huge for us."
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 23, 2020
Lamb and the Dallas Cowboys showed that hunger as they battled with the Vikings on Sunday, answering each Vikings score with one of their own in the fourth quarter. The 31 points by the offense were the most points scored by the offense since their week five win over the New York Giants when they scored 37. Like Sunday, Quarterback Andy Dalton led a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
The defense, though it allowed big plays to Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook, hung in there and made just enough plays to hold off a comeback bid by Kirk Cousins. On the final drive of the game for the Vikings, they harassed Kirk Cousins, not allowing him any comfort in the pocket and the Vikings went four and out and gained just four yards to finish the game.
The schedule sets up fairly well for the Cowboys. They have three games remaining against their NFC East foes, a game against the Cincinnati Bengals who lost Joe Burrow for the season, the San Francisco 49ers who have had struggles at quarterback this season, and the Baltimore Ravens who've not looked like the same team we saw a year ago.
In a division that has been as bad as the NFC East has been, the Dallas Cowboys are in a position to make a run and make the playoffs. If their offense can be as efficient and productive as it was on Sunday against the Vikings, they'll have an opportunity to do more in the playoffs with the defense trending in the right direction.
The Cowboys will have an opportunity to build off the win as they get ready to face the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving. With a chance to avenge a loss from earlier in the season, the Dallas Cowboys can also put another foot forward on their way to claiming a playoff spot and the NFC East title.
As much as many observers would like to see this team with a high draft pick heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, it doesn't look like this team will oblige. After getting their third win of the season on Sunday, this is a team that's hungry for more.