The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their fourth win Sunday following their 44-20 win against the New York Giants. It’s their first 4-1 start since the 2016 season when they finished 13-3, first in the NFC East and earned a first-round bye before meeting the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
Like 2016, this team is offering various. Since week one, Dallas has shown the capability to beat teams on the ground or through the air, while being complemented by a defense that has discovered a knack for taking the ball away. Dallas currently leads the league in takeaways, while boasting a possible MVP and Comeback Player of the Year candidate in Dak Prescott – along with the early front runner for Defensive Player of the Year in Trevon Diggs.
Dallas is ranked top five in various power rankings as they head into their week six matchup against the New England Patriots. And as Dallas finished up the first quarter of their season, let’s rank each game by performance thus far.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-29 (L)
Not many expected the Dallas Cowboys to upset the reigning Super Bowl champions in Tampa on opening night, but if not for two missed field goals and a missed extra point, Dallas very well could be sitting 5-0. Now you may ask yourself “how can a lost be ranked first?” But what you saw in that game laid the blueprint for the team we’ve seen since then. An offense that is far from one-dimensional, a quarterback who appeared completely healed from last year’s injury and a defense who forced four turnovers. Added to the fact, Tampa Bay returned all 22 starters from its championship team. Of course, you would prefer a real win over a moral victory, but it allowed us to judge if that showing was a fluke or could this team build on top of that showing. Which they have through five games.
- Los Angeles Charger, 20-17 (W)
The Los Angeles Chargers seem to deal with the same storyline every year – a talented roster who cannot seem to stay healthy. They’ve boasted wins over Washington, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Cleveland – two of which are playoff teams and Oakland being undefeated prior to their matchup.
In hindsight, that win has been amplified since then. Dallas held Kennan Allen to his lowest reception total (4), Justin Herbert hasn’t thrown an interception since throwing two against the Cowboys and it was the only game of the year they’ve been held under 20 points. They’re averaging 35 points per game in their final three contests.
- Philadelphia Eagles, 41-21 (W)
The Philadelphia Eagles had allowed a total of 17 points in their first two games before visiting Dallas. The Cowboys left little doubt once the night concluded that they were head and shoulders above the rest of the NFC East. They passed it 26 times and ran it another 28. It was the most balanced attack we had seen from this team at that point in time. And with all the rave surrounding Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and how the offense was going to manage without Michael Gallup it was Dalton Shultz who enjoyed an 80-yard, two-touchdown day for Dallas.
- Carolina Panthers, 36-28 (W)
I know. The Carolina Panthers were 3-0 and though the final score indicates it was a close matchup Dallas dominated this game once they got rolling. However, those three wins from Carolina came against the Jets, Texans and a Saints team who had 10 coaches out with COVID. I felt it would be more of a barometer test for Carolina than Dallas as we had already seen how they played against playoff contenders. Carolina hadn’t seen an offense that was anything similar to Dallas’, nor had Sam Darnold been gone against a cornerback such as Trevon Diggs (Marshon Lattimore, NO, missed their game against the Panthers). So I felt comfortable predicting Dallas to beat Carolina since. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles were much more of a test for Dallas. The Cowboys did what they were supposed to do against a team, at the time, missing its best corner (Jaycee Horn) and best offensive player (Christian McCaffrey).
- New York Giants, 44-20 (W)
Even with Dallas beating New York by 24 it still didn’t feel as close as the score indicates. People questioned if Daniel Jones hadn’t gotten hurt would he have made a difference and, in short, no. Yes, in the sense he’s a better option than Mike Glennon, but no in the fact, the Giants are just devoid of talent right now because of injuries. This divisional game probably had the clearest pregame views on who people thought would win.
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