Earlier than a single recreation was performed this 12 months, many observers noticed the AFC South trifecta in December as probably the best three-game sequence the Dallas Cowboys confronted. They’re definitely off to an excellent begin proving that forecast is perhaps right. Irrespective of how laborious you take a look at the failings of the primary of the three performed final Sunday, 54 factors goes to have you ever feeling some confidence, and sure greater than a little bit of perspective.
Effectively, as was as soon as stated on the Millenium Falcon, don’t get cocky. The Indianapolis Colts recreation had the look of a big deviation from the norm fairly than a defining recreation. In fact, the subsequent two towards the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars will deliver issues again to earth.
Or not. Each these groups, particularly the Texans, needs to be even much less of a problem than the Colts. So what would three dominant video games in a row towards outmatched rivals inform us concerning the Cowboys? And what if they’ve much more bother the subsequent two weeks than we count on?
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A loss or tie in both of these two video games would solid an enormous quantity of doubt over the staff. It’s one other entice state of affairs. The final recreation earlier than the Philadelphia Eagles come calling additionally has Trevor Lawrence taking part in quarterback. He has not had spectacular numbers, however is trying extra like no less than a reliable to good QB. There’s additionally the hope (for his staff) that he’s going to start out trying like what so many anticipated for the previous primary draft decide. Everyone knows the historical past of Dallas. Opposing gamers simply play out of their heads.
Nonetheless, one in every of these subsequent two shocking the Cowboys with a powerful recreation appears very unbelievable. The unfold this week is reaching three rating territory. Dallas ought to steamroll each these groups.
The one drawback for Dallas is that there’s not a lot you study a staff in these wins. Their first large blowout of the season was towards the Chicago Bears, and in some ways it was precisely the form of recreation you need the Cowboys to play from begin to end. They then upped the ante with a 40-burger towards the Minnesota Vikings that was virtually as flawless. It was even a highway recreation in a notoriously loud venue.
You can’t say that concerning the Colts win. The primary three quarters noticed Indianapolis hanging robust with Dallas. It was not till a sequence of takeaways created an avalanche of factors that they actually dominated. It was a bit over quarter-hour of virtually flawless soccer grafted onto almost three-quarters of an hour of mediocrity.
Meaning there’s extra to look at than the ultimate rating for these subsequent two video games. This scoring distribution is one. A Vikings model win is certainly a greater signal. Sudden bursts of simple factors is extra a random factor. Indianapolis visibly appeared to cave after the string of turnovers began that will result in an enormous hole within the rating.
One other issue is the best way Kellen Moore known as the sport towards the Colts. He relied closely on the run, with Dallas operating it 34 instances versus 30 passes thrown. There apparently was multiple purpose for this. The run was working significantly better, with the Cowboys gaining a mean of 6.5 yards per run whereas solely netting 5.3 on common after they threw it. Moore appears to be doing an excellent job of how he splits the workload between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard which additionally makes it simpler. Two drives began contained in the Indianapolis 30. And because the lead ballooned, there was no purpose to throw it a lot as they wished the clock to run down. Prescott additionally had three quick landing passes. so the passing recreation wound up being extra about effectivity than gross yards gained. This was excellent for the Colts, however it’s hardly a assured blueprint for after they face the Philadelphia Eagles in three video games. Jalen Hurts is way extra harmful than Matt Ryan and Philly is taking part in excellent ball on either side of the road.
It might not be unhealthy to see Prescott have an enormous day or two throwing the ball earlier than then. In any case he must push the ball deeper some to hone that a part of the offensive toolkit. It may be essential not just for that section, however it helps skinny out the field for the operating backs. One aspect impact of getting the quarterback problem the protection is that there will likely be turnovers. Prescott appears to get picked each recreation, though all come within the first half to date. We would as properly be prepared for that to maintain occurring if we wish one thing moreover quick throws.
The protection was the very best a part of the Cowboys towards the Colts. They held them to a good 309 yards of complete offense, virtually all within the first three quarters. However a lot of the impression got here from these 5 takeaways, and people are notoriously laborious to duplicate from recreation to recreation. Similar to the offense, they could want a recreation the place they only throttle the offense. And shutting down Lawrence is perhaps an excellent factor to see. He has some attributes which might be just like Hurts. He sadly is taking part in with a far much less proficient staff round him, which isn’t serving to his profession. That isn’t Dallas’ drawback. They should use that recreation to assist prepare for the Eagles.
One vital factor is to see how DaRon Bland and Kelvin Joseph maintain up at cornerback. Towards Indy, they have been greater than as much as the duty, particularly Bland along with his two picks. That’s essential going ahead after the accidents to Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown. One other secret’s to maintain the run recreation bottled up. That’s one thing they have to do when the staff with the very best report in soccer involves city.
One good factor that will be good to see is how they will nonetheless stifle an offense even with out Micah Parsons having an amazing stat line. They obtained three sacks with out him being in on any.
However that leaves the unique drawback. It’s laborious to check both the Texans or the Jaguars as a lot of a measuring stick for a staff with large aspirations. The 54-point extravaganza final Sunday was simply as a lot an announcement concerning the total expertise disparity on the sector. That’s one that’s going to carry true for 2 extra video games earlier than ramming right into a roster that’s no less than on a par with their very own. Whereas they have to not get overconfident and let both staff dangle round, they need to be seeking to hold making statements. They now have the largest total margin of victory of any staff. That is likely one of the most predictive stats for continued success. This is a chance to construct that lead. Then the Philadelphia recreation would be the true take a look at of how they will maintain good play.
It doesn’t matter what the earlier scores have been, nonetheless. Every recreation is a take a look at of the persistence and work of the staff. It relies on good teaching. In that latter, essentially the most encouraging factor from the Indianapolis recreation was the large discount in penalties. It appears that evidently emphasis on issues like too many males in movement, false begins, and holding actually took impact. It is vitally a lot an unanswered query if that too was an anomaly for the staff. Getting within the behavior of not drawing flags is one they badly want.
We’ll see the way it all goes in a few midday kicks earlier than the nationwide broadcast on Christmas Eve. And we’ll be again to attempt to work out what all of it means.