It’s been a rough first five weeks to the season. Besides all the national anthem hoopla that seems to spread like wildfire whenever Jerry Jones opens his mouth, the Cowboys have some actual football concerns facing them going forward.
Some players are being released, some retiring, and some are even being re-suspended. It’s getting to be re-diculous. And all of that just adds insult to injury to the fact that the Cowboys have let the last two games get away from them and now sit with a 2-3 record.
But we can only sulk for so long as it’s time to put on our forward-faces and look at the bright spots on the horizon. There is plenty of football left and it all returns this Sunday when the Cowboys travel to San Francisco to face the winless 49ers.
Dallas is a team that can still go out and compete week-in and week-out, so expect them to do just that in coming weeks. And here are three players to keep a close eye out for the rest of the season.
Doom and gloom has crept into Cowboys Nation with the news that Ezekiel Elliott is almost certainly going to probably more-than-likely be suspended for six games. Lick it, stick it, and put it in the bank. I have no idea what I just said. And if you’re confused by that then now you know how Cowboys fans feel trying to understand what is going on with this whole Zeke suspension.
What is known however, it that the Cowboys are preparing themselves for life without Zeke. And that means it’s time for Alfred Morris to assume the lead running back role in Dallas. It’s a role where he churned out three 1,000+ yard seasons during a great start to his NFL career with the Washington Redskins.
Fans aren’t overly excited about Morris because he doesn’t have blazing speed, he isn’t super elusive, and he offers nothing as a receiver. But that’s okay. What he can do is be a very effective two-down running back. Morris reads his blocks extremely well, gets himself skinny to finagle through the creases, and runs with enough power to stretch out extra yards.
I’m telling you right now, Cowboys fans – we all know Zeke is a special player, but Morris is going to step in and play well enough to where we won’t miss him quite as much as we think. We start seeing more runs like this and fans will start having a new hero in Dallas.
DeMarcus Lawrence has gotten off to a great start as he has recorded a sack in every game thus far. He’s leading the NFL in sacks with 8.5 and has been one of the lone bright spots for the defense this season. He already has eclipsed his season-high of sacks for a season and he’s only played in five games. Lawrence is well on his way to a breakout season.
But don’t be surprised if he’s not the team’s best pass rusher going forward. The Cowboys got David Irving back from a four-game suspension and he started his season with a boom as well. Irving had two sacks against the Green Bay Packers and is looking to build off a promising season last year in limited action. With an expanded role this year, Irving could be a monster in the middle. And when you combine that with a revived Lawrence and an up-and-coming Maliek Collins, this could mean good things for the Cowboys pass rush.
The Cowboys are getting pressure on over 30% of their passing snaps, which ranked them sixth in the league after the first five weeks. At least we can say the pass rush is doing it’s job.
Have you all heard about how great Carson Wentz is this season? He’s been riding hot lately as he’s helped lead his team to the best record in the NFC. Over the last two games, he’s scored a total of seven touchdowns, made several plays with his legs, and helped his offense put up 28+ plus in each contest. That’s reason to be excited right?
Well, the Cowboys second-year quarterback, Dak Prescott has done those exact same things. The only difference is that the Cowboys have lost their last two games. While the Cowboys as a team have had their struggles, it’s through no fault of Prescott’s. Even when the running game sputters, Dak has been able to take it upon himself to make plays.
Don’t be surprised if Prescott elevates his game, especially if Zeke is unavailable. He’s already shown us that he’s good enough to be this team’s new franchise quarterback, but this is only the beginning.
Which players do you think make the biggest impact from this day forward? Do you think the Cowboys have enough playmakers to get them into the playoffs? Share your answer with Dan on Twitter @DannyPhantom24.