We are already three weeks into the 2019 NFL season,and the Dallas Cowboys are one of the undefeated teams as of Week 3. The 'Boys are 3-0 for the first time since 2008, when Wade Phillips was head coach, with victories over division rivals New York and Washington and the historically dreadful Miami Dolphins.
Now they prepare for their first big test of the year this Sunday night in primetime as they travel to one of the most hostile environments in the league, the Superdome, to face the New Orleans Saints. Sure, the Saints don't have Drew Brees for a while, but the Saints still have plenty of playmakers, including Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara.
Dallas did what many of us expected: take advantage of a favorable start to the schedule before the meat and potatoes of it kicks in. And this team looks completely different than in recent years, in part thanks to plenty of returning talent, a deeper roster and a bright, young offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore.
The defense is deep, especially at the defensive line. From names like DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Antwaun Woods and Robert Quinn to linebackers Leighton Vander-Esch, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee, the defense is currently ranked in the top five scoring.
Though they have yet to consistently produce sacks and turnovers, we saw a quick glimpse of what damage they can do in the second half of the Miami game. Pressure and turnovers will be a big key when they play the best offenses in the league. But for now, they have done their part in keeping opposing offenses out of reach.
The offense has averaged just over 30 points so far. They had a lot of flack for years of heavily relying on the running game, making little to no adjustments at halftime and letting the foot off the gas pedal when a comfy lead is in tow. With Moore's new schemes, we are seeing more passing and play action.
That's nothing to take away from Ezekiel Elliott and rookie runner Tony Pollard; they are the perfect one-two punch to take advantage when the spectacular O-line opens up space. Instead of predictably and conservatively relying on Zeke since his rookie season, Dak Prescott has plenty of targets to air it out to, including Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb, and he already is having the best start in his four-year career.
The offensive line has its three All-Pros playing together for the first time since 2017, as Travis Frederick sat out last season battling Guillan-Barre syndrome. Jason Witten came back after a one-year retirement, has two red zone touchdowns and looks like he can still be a short-yardage and blocking threat at age 37.
Long story short, with a talented and improved team, Super Bowl aspirations are justified. Anything less than the NFC Championship will be a disappointment.