The Cowboys Offensive Line is not talked about enough. This group of guys is unbelievable. I know that everyone has been preaching the accomplishments of Dak and Zeke, but let’s be honest, they wouldn’t be able to do as much without these guys. Think back to fantasy football. Personally, I would add and drop a D/ST week by week depending on weekly matchups, hoping that a team would be playing against the Browns, the Bills, or the 49ers. That was usually a 10-point week for defense. Those were the teams you hoped your fantasy team’s defense would play against because you knew that their offense line was weak and collapsed quickly. Imagine what Zeke and Dak would have been limited to if that was their O-Line. They probably would not be putting up numbers like these.
Measuring the successes of a Defense is difficult. Breaking them down into pass block and rush block makes things easier. ESPN ranked the Cowboys as the number 1 rush defense in the league, only allowing an average of 80 rushing yards per game. The Dallas pass defense is ranked in the bottom 10, allowing an average of 260 passing yards per game. This low ranking is due to the fact that the Dallas cornerbacks are no better than average. They are not fantastic with deep coverage, however their Red-Zone coverage makes up for that. The Dallas Defensive line, combined with the Red-Zone coverage from their corners creates a top 5 defense that only allows an average of 19 points per game.
I already wrote an article praising Dak Prescott as the next best QB, so I won’t go into great detail. But I will say this, he has had a hell of a rookie season. He wasn’t even supposed to be playing this much. He is only here because of injury and yet this guy has tied Big Ben for most wins by a rookie QB. However, he has not come this far just because of luck. Earlier in this article I discussed the strength of the Cowboys Offensive Line, and even questioned Dak’s ability behind trash lines like the Bills, Browns and 49ers. But clearly the Cowboy’s Offensive Line isn’t so great that any QB can thrive; just look at Mark Sanchez.
I don’t think I need to say much here. This guy has made a serious mark on the NFL. In his first NFL season he was able to lead the league in rushing yards, yards before contact, yards after contact, and is third for rush TDs. All as a rookie. He even came in third for total yards in a rookie season.
Personally, I believe that if he had not sat out of the ending of the Lions game or the Eagles game in preparation for the Playoffs he could have ranked higher. He only had 12 attempts for 82 yards against the Lions. If he had received his average number of around 20 attempts, he would have rushed for about 130 yards that game. As well, his average yards per game is around 100 yds, which against the Eagles rush defense is a low estimate. If these numbers were added to Zeke’s record, he would be in second place for most yards in a rookie season. Considering we cannot change the past, we can only marvel at the success story that has been Ezekiel Elliot.
NFC Divisional Playoffs
Did I think that the Cowboys should have won? Maybe. However we cannot look past the fact that the Packers capitalized and outperformed the Cowboys in the first 3 quarters. Dak Prescott threw for 2 interceptions in the Regular Season, yet managed to throw 2 in a single game. We can only hope for the Cowboys to have a more successful season next year.