The Dallas Cowboys are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning four games in a row. After losing to the Titans, the team has pulled off big road wins in Philadelphia and Atlanta, while also beating the rival Redskins to take over first place in the NFC East and upsetting one of the league’s best, the Saints.
That’s one heck of a win streak. People thought the Cowboys were done after the Monday night debacle (raises hand), but the team has responded in a major way. Not only is Dallas in position to win the division, but they are also now in a good spot to make the postseason with a Wild Card berth if that becomes necessary.
Here are five of the reasons for the turnaround of the Cowboys in the last four weeks.
Amari Cooper trade
A first-round pick seemed like a steep price to pay to get a receiver who hadn’t played well enough to warrant that type of compensation, but Cooper has proven to be worth it. In five games with the Cowboys, he’s caught 30 passes for 424 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper has shown to be the perfect fit for quarterback Dak Prescott because of his exquisite route running and big-play ability after the catch. The arrival of Cooper has also helped open up the running game and…
Elliott has been on a tear during the winning streak and the Cowboys have been giving him all he can handle. Zeke has had three of his six 100 yard rushing games in the last four weeks and scored five touchdowns, including at least one in each game. However, it’s in the passing game where the offense has been getting him more involved. Elliott has 24 catches in the last four games, his highest number ever in a four-game span. The Cowboys are finally utilizing his potential as a receiver and it’s helping the offense.
The level of play from Prescott has been raised. In the last four games, Prescott has been responsible for seven touchdowns and only turned the ball over once. Prescott has also had his four highest completion percentage games in each of the last four weeks, that’s efficient football from the third-year quarterback. Dallas needed the best from Prescott in order to make a playoff run, and they are getting it.
Leighton Vander Esch
Let’s face it, in past seasons the Cowboys were toast without Sean Lee on the field. That has not been the case this year since Vander Esch has played so well. The rookie has made game-changing interceptions against the Eagles and Falcons to go along with his stellar play against the Saints last Thursday night. There hasn’t been any drop-off from Lee and Vander Esch and the Wolf Hunter is a major reason the defense has been on fire during the win streak.
The coaching staff
The easiest thing to do when the Cowboys lose is to bash Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and the rest of the coaching staff. That has been tough to do recently, Garrett and his crew have made the necessary adjustments to help get the most out of their talent. From integrating Cooper into the offense to using Elliott more in the passing game and for winning with backup offensive linemen on the left side, this staff should be commended for how they’ve answered their critics.
This season is a long way from being over, but these are some of the reasons for the resurgence of the Dallas Cowboys this year.
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