Following their opening week heartbreak against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2022 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys have made a comeback, winning their next four games on the trot, and are now occupying the second spot in the NFC East standings. They are also the second best-performing team in the NFL this season so far, but what has caused this amazing turnaround by them, considering they lost their starting quarterback Dak Prescott to a long injury? Let’s take a look.
The Cowboys lost their starting quarterback Dak Prescott to a thumb injury in the opening week. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush replaced him in the team and has found success with them so far. Rush, who has primarily acted as a backup in his career, has made 72 successful passes out of 118 attempts this season for 1,161 yards, scoring 4 touchdowns.
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With Rush at the helm, the Cowboys have gone on to defeat the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals as well as the Super Bowl champion the Los Angeles Rams. While Rush has his fair share of credit for this to happen, their resolute defense has also helped in the matter. The Cowboys’ defense has allowed a single touchdown in the fifth consecutive game while the offense continues to excel as well.
As the Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles in their next game in Week 6, who are yet to be defeated in the 2022 season. They are also the only undefeated in the NFL. However, the Cowboys beat them last season twice by scoring a total of 45 points and when they face him without Prescott, both their defense and attacking lines will need to be working in tandem, otherwise, there’s little chance they will be taken seriously.
Apart from their season-opening loss, the Cowboys have not scored less than 20 points in any of their last four matches this season. On the other hand, the Eagles have conceded more than 15 points in three of their five matches, however, have restricted their opponents to less than 10 points twice in the new season. It will most likely come down to who will have the better defense, considering both the Cowboys and the Eagles have excelled in attacking in recent games.
But what could be the biggest reason behind the Cowboys’ recent emergence, is their intelligent running game. They have tweaked their gameplay in the absence of their starting quarterback, and have prioritised getting the ball to Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. This is one of the reasons Rush has looked impressive as he has been able to use play-action passes.
Such was evident in the Cowboys’ win over the Bengals and the Giants. They registered a total of 107 and 167 rushing yards in these games respectively that resulted in two rushing touchdowns.