The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2021 NFL season as a clear favorite to win NFC East division. Although many predicted them to win the NFC East division title, their position as a Super Bowl contender was not clear. The Cowboys have shown that they are a real threat to the NFC’s Big Game representation through the first ten weeks of the season.
Jerry Jones must be enjoying what he’s seen from his team. Although the Cowboys suffered a loss to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago, they rebounded strong and won a 43-3 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Cowboys are now 7-2 after their win over the Falcons in Week 10. They are currently third in the NFC standings. They trail only the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers .
Dallas has displayed a significantly improved defense this season. The offense has also been performing to its full potential. The Cowboys’ pass game, led by Dak Prescott has been difficult for opposing defenses. Ezekiel Elliott, who has had a rebound season on the ground, has been a force again.
Let’s now dive in and examine three key factors that will allow the Cowboys remain legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
3. It is important that the defense remains solid and makes plays
No one knew what to expect of the defense at the beginning of the season. They struggled last season almost every week, which was one of their greatest downfalls. They have seen Trevon diggs play like a playmaking star, and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons step up tremendously.
The Cowboys’ decision to let go of veteran linebacker JaylonSmith was one of the most surprising moments of the season. They have not only missed him but their defense has been improved by his release. Smith’s absence has been obvious to anyone who has seen Smith’s play in the past two years.
The Cowboys will need to have a solid defense and continue their elite playmaking if they want to be a contender for a Super Bowl appearance. Even if they don’t have a top five defense, forcing turnovers could make up for it. Dallas must continue to do the same defensive job it has done so far.
2. Keep Dak Prescott healthy and upright
The Cowboys must protect their quarterback, second and most importantly. Prescott has been a star this season and his offensive line must ensure that he is healthy and upright. Losing Prescott could result in Dallas falling in the standings.
Prescott has completed 70.3 per cent of his passes for 2,341 yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He also has rushed for 91 yards and one touchdown. Prescott, when he’s healthy, is a great quarterback in the NFL. He is a clear MVP candidate.
Prescott will be the Cowboys’ leading offense. They are a dangerous team. Is he able to lead Dallas to the Super Bowl with enough? This is a question we will only know the answer to over time.
Prescott, however, will be able to use weapons such as CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper to help the Cowboys make a run for the playoffs.
1. Dallas must continue to involve Ezekiel Elliott, and keep him going
The Cowboys needed Elliott to figure things out and get back to his workhorse role of running back. This season has seen Elliott rise to the occasion. Elliott has not let the Cowboys’ aerial attack down and is showing no signs of slowing.
No longer is Elliott required to run 100-yard monster games every week for the Cowboys. They need him to be a consistent threat on the ground and able to eat up a hard-fought two or three yards whenever they need it. Dallas needs Elliott to be a constant threat on the ground, and someone who can take a hard-fought two to three yards whenever they need it.
Elliott has carried the ball 142 times this season for 663 yards and seven touchdowns. Elliott has also caught 26 passes, gaining 168 yards and a touchdown.
Dallas must ensure Elliott is involved in all aspects of the game and keep him on the field. If they continue to do that, Elliott will be firing on all cylinders when it comes time for the playoffs.