An unpretentious head coach, a new defensive strategy and the league’s sharpest attacks have turned the Dallas Cowboys into America’s Dream Team.
And an old man’s dream can come true again.
A week in the NFL can sometimes be experienced as a whole month.
By this I mean that a team can look lousy one week, to the next week resemble a team of Super Bowl caliber.
Dallas Cowboys had just such a week when they met the Denver Broncos during the NFL’s ninth week. The Cowboys’ six-match winning streak ended against a team they would have won on paper. The numbers 16-30 do not reflect the match well enough, the Broncos made the “Americas Team” look like a bunch of averages without aspirations to lift the long-awaited Lombardi Trophy.
The Cowboys’ strong attack was annihilated and the defense’s reborn strategy via new defense coordinator Dan Quinn was exposed.
During the past week 10, the Cowboys played against the Atlanta Falcons and showed that the fears that their winning concept had been called were exaggerated, when they crushed the Falcons at AT&T Stadium with 43-3, their first 40-point win since 2000. During the second quarter of the match made the Cowboys a total of 29 points, which is more points than they have ever historically done in one and the same quarter.
Dallas defense coordinator Dan Quinn got revenge against his former Falcons who during last year’s ongoing season fired him after he, as HC, was partly responsible for starting the season with five straight losses.
The win against the Falcons may well have been the match where the Cowboys anchored their game philosophy as a team.
With a payline of 7-2, they lead the NFC East division with four wins ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles.
This Sunday is the starting shot for what may be the Cowboys’ biggest challenge of the year as they begin a 12-day period with three matches.
They start with the Kansas City Chiefs and then play Thanksgiving football against the Las Vegas Raiders next Thursday and then finish with the New Orleans Saints the following Thursday.
Major changes in the defense
Mike McCarthy, who has been the Cowboys HC since 2020, has in his second assignment as head coach chosen to take a step back during the match. During his first assignment with the Green Bay Packers, in addition to his HC chores, he had also taken on the responsibility of calling the attacking games offensive. Now with the Cowboys, he has transferred responsibility to young Kellen Moore, who has had the role of attack coordinator with Dallas since the 2019 season.
Since McCarthy took over, Moore has had freer hands than during the time when Jason Garrett was the Cowboys coach. Moore has really shown that this was a wise decision as Dallas’ attack leads the league with an average of 433.9 yards forward and 31.6 points per game.
Dallas has not seen the smoke of this high attack production since the 1995 season, which also happens to be the last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl.
The Cowboys’ attack has been good for a couple of seasons and there is nothing wrong with the production on that side of the ball.
However, it is on defense that the major improvements have taken place and this part of the team has really responded to the new strategies Dan Quinn has incorporated since he got the job earlier this year.
According to all measurement data collected, the team part is the league’s second fastest defense. What makes them fast is that they know what to do and when, a good sign of a well-coached group.
Among this group are individuals and one of these has made an incredible improvement from its premiere year last year. The player I’m thinking of is cornerback Trevon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver star Stefon Digg’s younger brother.
During his years in college, Trevon was reluctantly moved from the WR position to CB as his then coach felt he fit better on defense. With the results in hand, it was clearly a good decision.
This season, Trevon leads the interception league with as many as eight, two of them for touchdowns. Diggs the younger has the advantage of having played that position, and when analyzing his game, it is clear that he has a high level of knowledge when it comes to how WR wants to run his various pass patterns.
In summary, thanks to their markedly improved defense, Dallas has combined with the fact that their attack plays even better than in previous years the recipe for being in the conversation about Super Bowl challengers.
Pioneer to owner
Of course, one should be careful not to throw oneself into words as big as “Super Bowl” when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys who have not even been close to repeating the feat but have always found a way to shoot themselves in the foot.
With that said, they now finally have the team that their owner Jerry Jones has dreamed of, and for the first time in 26 years, they have a real chance to go all the way.
Jerry Jones is, to say the least, a colorful person who likes to be in focus, unlike most other owners who like to let the team take care of itself.
Jones is familiar with all aspects of the Cowboys and has been so since he bought the team in 1989. The then young owner’s biggest fear was that he would be remembered as the idiot who spent all his fortune on an NFL team that then went to the bottom. But now, over 30 years later, he owns not only the NFL’s but one of the world’s richest sports teams, and is a major contributor to the league’s size as it is today.
Jones was a pioneer when it came to selling naming rights to sponsors who wanted to put their name on the stadium and was instrumental in negotiating a TV deal with FOX Network for the entire NFC, thereby increasing the conference’s revenue by several million dollar.
Throughout his career as the owner of “America’s team”, Jerry has been constantly criticized for not hiring a general manager who handles everything in terms of which players the team should recruit, but the Cowboys would not be exactly the Cowboys if it were not for Jerry Jones .
There may be some justification for the criticism, but there are still owners who have not achieved the success that Jones has done. Although the heyday came in the 90’s when they won three Super Bowls (1992, 1993, 1995), Jones has never wavered in his way of running the team. And the question is whether or not the old fox has finally found the perfect formula to get back on the big stage.
We wish to thank the writer of this post for this amazing material
CJ Björk: Have the Dallas Cowboys found the recipe for the Super Bowl?