Cowboys Owner and GM Jerry Jones isn't one to back down from opportunity to be an optimist when it comes to his football team. This was certainly the case after the team's win at Washington, where the Cowboys offense once again struggled but the team added to their commanding NFC East lead nonetheless.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy is holding back talk of the playoffs until the Cowboys reach ten wins, which they can do at the Giants this Sunday. New York is a fitting opponent to frame Jones' point about variety in the playbook though, as he jumped straight to talk of how prepared this offense will be in the postseason.
In his weekly hit on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones admitted he's been a part of “teams that've been criticized for not having enough variety when you get to the playoffs,” and for doing the “same-old same-old” when they get there.
The Giants moved on from OC Jason Garrett mid-season, who previously coached Cowboys teams criticized for these same reasons. While the move has done little to spark an offense dealing with injuries and lack of depth, the Cowboys have the personnel and a healthy QB to play much more efficiently on this side of the ball.
Jones said the Cowboys have practiced intensely how to put in new looks for later in the season. Starting this week, all but one of the Cowboys remaining opponents will be teams they're seeing for the second time as division games. It shouldn't take long to find out if Jones is giving Kellen Moore too much credit here, or if the Dallas offense remains a point of concern through December.
Dak Prescott vs Giants since start of 2017
Pass YPG 284.6
QB Rating 113.5 pic.twitter.com/vi0wIzCsE6
The Cowboys 20-point win vs. the Giants in week five remains their best point output of the season. The team is hopeful they'll be closer to full strength on offense with the return of Tony Pollard this week.
A win paired with a Washington loss to Philadelphia clinches the division, so long as the Cowboys hold the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Eagles. If both the Cowboys and WFT win on Sunday, the Cowboys can still secure a playoff spot if the 49ers, Saints, or all three of the Saints, Vikings, and Falcons lose.
This is a team that (not so quietly at times) has always believed they'd be playing postseason football, and know the timing and efficiency on offense must improve for these games to matter down the stretch. The playoff scenarios above may seem convoluted when written out, but the idea that it's the only thing standing between Moore no longer holding his offense back isn't.