Cowboys’ Season Still Has Hope
The injury fallout from the first two weeks of the season for Dallas has been nothing short of a disaster. Despite being 2-0, the Cowboys have lost Dez Bryant in week 1 and Tony Romo in week 2 for a good portion of the season. This is in addition to losing cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, in training camp for the whole year. Everyone thought the biggest question mark going into this season would be the Cowboys run game. I’m sure they and their fans would love for that to be the only question now. I’d like to pose another question and that is can they still win the division? The skeptics say no, the facts say otherwise. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why they can still do it.
The first reason is their defense. Sean Lee is back and playing like a mad man. Against the Eagles last week he had 14 tackles, 9 of them solo. He also caught an interception in the end zone. These stats earned him NFL Defensive Player of the Week. As a whole, the Dallas D is currently ranked 3rd overall and has given up 18 points a game through the first two weeks. They are also ranked 1st in run defense. The best part is they are not at full strength yet. In two more weeks they get Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain back from suspensions, as well as rookie Randy Gregory who suffered a sprained ankle in week 1. It will be interesting to see how these pieces fit in with an already good defense.
The next reason is the offensive line. They are one of if not the best in the league and they have depth. Yes Romo was injured on a sack, but somebody is going to get through every once in a while, and for all the Eagles problems they have a pretty good defense. This line can protect Weeden and allow for a balanced running attack, which Dallas is sure to use without their starting quarterback and star wide receiver. The team is ranked 20th in rushing so there is room for improvement, but being ranked 5th in passing, things kind of balance out.
Lastly, there are the other teams in their division. The Giants and Eagles are a hot mess right now, and that may not continue, but for the moment it’s to Dallas’ advantage. The Redskins don’t look too bad and have an amazing ground game, but are still seeing what they have in Kirk Cousins as a starter. They are also without Desean Jackson for the time being who is nursing a hamstring injury. If Dallas can manage to go 4-4 while Romo is out, (depending on his timetable) they should still be well in contention for the division. The fun part is we all get to watch and find out.
Kevin McQuade covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on twitter @kmcquade9.