Everything feels normal in Cowboys Nation, as Dak Prescott returned to the field and the Dallas defense helped tame the Lions with a 24-6 victory.
The Cowboys sit at 5-2 and now we have to begin to wonder – is this offense as good as it is going to be?
Since week one of the 2022 NFL season, the Cowboys have ranked in the bottom of the league as far as total offense goes. When Dak Prescott got injured and was replaced by Cooper Rush for five games, the Cowboys' offense still struggled, which was to be expected with a backup quarterback.
After the Cowboys defeated the Lions this past Sunday, the Cowboys now rank 29th overall in total offense – which is not good. To be fair, this was Dak Prescott's first game back since recovering from his broken thumb injury, and I don't believe anybody expected Prescott to come out slinging the football all over the field.
In fact, Prescott had a pretty solid day in his return as the starting quarterback – completing 19 of his 25 passing attempts, throwing for 207 yards, one touchdown, and a quarterback rating of 113.2%. Prescott also showed his playmaking ability early on in the game, threading the needle with two passes in-between Detroit defenders to CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz, and extending plays with his legs when the play began to break down.
The Cowboys are going to need to consistently score more points on offense when facing tougher teams down the stretch who have the ability to score points. Yes, the Cowboys have a recipe for success already by running the ball with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, and leaning heavily on their lockdown defense to control the game. But how far can that recipe for success take them?
Last year, the Dallas Cowboys had the #1 scoring offense in the NFL. The Cowboys also had Amari Cooper as their leading receiver during that time, and after trading Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, the Cowboys haven't done much to replace that void in the lineup. CeeDee Lamb is without a doubt a star in the making, but Lamb still shows inconsistency by failing to create separation from defenders and struggling with drops.
Against the Lions, Michael Gallup only saw two targets the entire game. Prescott was able to connect with Noah Brown on a shot down the field that ultimately ended up being a fumble by Brown. Needless to say – the Cowboys need another playmaker on offense. Not only that, but the offense needs to find its rhythm.
It is fair to begin to question offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and the way he is calling games for this offense. At times, Moore looks like a genius. Other times, Moore can have us all scratching our heads wondering what just happened. Kellen Moore needs to find a recipe that works for him and his offense, and build off that. If you watch the Kansas City Chiefs and how their coaching staff prepares their offense, each week a different player on the Chiefs offense is having a career day. The Chiefs game plan ways to create opportunities for new receivers each week and get them the ball.
Why can't the Cowboys do this?
The Cowboys have great talent at receiver with CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, an emerging Noah Brown, and will soon be adding former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, James Washington to the line-up.
I would like to see Kellen Moore get a bit more creative with the way he calls games for his offense, and scheme ways to get different players the ball as the season continues. If CeeDee Lamb is struggling to get open against defenders, find ways to get Michael Gallup those targets. Utilize the new tight-end duo of Peyton Hendershot and Jake Ferguson, who seem to be finding their place in this offense.
As the NFL trade deadline approaches on November 1st, I would like to hope that the Cowboys are doing their homework on any wide receiver that is available. Although the Cowboys have typically not made any splashy plays in the trade scene since Amari Cooper, the front office should be aware that this offense needs another piece.
Even if the Cowboys do not make a move to add another receiver to this offense, the Cowboys still have the ability to reclaim their spot from last year as the #1 offense in the league. The only question is — can they do it?