The 2019 version of the Dallas Cowboys has been a confusing one, to say the least. From week to week you never know which team will show up. One minute they look like the team that started the season 3-0. The next they resemble the team that lost three consecutive games after that hot start.
Individually, the Cowboys have several players that have performed at a high level. Offensively they possess as good of a three-head monster as there is in the league. Quarterback Dak Prescott currently leads the NFL with 3,788 passing yards. All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott is quietly having another productive season as his 990 rushing yards rank fifth. Wide Receiver Amari Cooper has dealt with his fair share of nagging injuries, however, he is fourth in receiving yards with 971.
The defensive side of the ball has had a few standout players as well. Linebacker Jaylon Smith made himself a household name in 2018 with his 121 tackles, four sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. So far this season, he’s nearly matched his tackle total from a year ago in just 12 games with 112, which leads the league. Another key piece has been Defensive End Robert Quinn who was acquired by trade in March from the Miami Dolphins. In just 10 games his 9.5 sacks rank ninth league-wide.
Individual stats are pointless, though, if a team can’t play together simultaneously in all phases. The Cowboys defense has held two of best teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, to a grand total of 25 points. Unfortunately, the Cowboys offense underperformed scoring a pedestrian 19 points and the team lost both games.
Dak Prescott threw for a career-high 463 passing yards and the offense as a whole racked up nearly 600 yards vs the Green Bay Packers back in Week 5. However, three turnovers led to 17 points for the Packers and the defense allowed 182 all-purpose yards to Aaron Jones which included four rushing touchdowns in a 34-24 loss.
Against the Minnesota Vikings, Prescott threw for 397 yards and Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb each went over 100 yards receiving. Defensively, it was not a good night at all. They allowed two touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook had 183 all-purpose yards and the Cowboys fell 28-24.
This continuous inconsistency fully explains how the Cowboys can currently be ranked second in total offense and ninth in total defense and have a 6-6 record. They are the only team with a winning record in the NFC East and have gone 4-0 in division play, yet they are only up a half-game on the Philadelphia Eagles. Their backs are to the wall with no room for error. Will they rise to the occasion and win their second straight NFC East crown? Will they fold like a bad hand in poker and miss the playoffs? There’s no doubt we’ll get our answer in the next month.