FRISCO, TX – The Dallas Cowboys have had one of the most unique starts to the season through six games on the offensive side of the ball under Mike McCarthy’s new Texas Coast system.
While the offense excels in areas such as third down conversion (4th in the NFL), scoring offense (6th in the NFL) and passing offense (7th in the NFL), it is also ineffective to a fault other areas, such as red zone touchdown rate (26th in NFL) and passing yards per game (19th in NFL).
As the team resets during the bye week, let’s take a look at the offensive storylines from the team’s first six games.
MVP – CeeDee Lamb – Although the offense had about as big a start as it could have, CeeDee Lamb found success on several occasions in providing the biggest spark through six games. His 475 receptions are 11th in the NFL and his 34 receptions are 16th in the league. When he’s on, the passing game is hard to stop. When it isn’t, the offense isn’t operating to its full potential.
Best Play – Pollard for Sixty – Improvisation hasn’t been good for Dak Prescott and the offense since 2022, but when things broke down against the Los Angeles Chargers, QB1 was efficient and surgical. The highlight of his ability outside the pocket came on a fourth quarter 3rd and 11 when Prescott escaped a broken pocket and found Tony Pollard running across the middle of the field. Pollard took the reception, bounced off a pair of tacklers and sped sixty yards downfield before being hauled deep into Chargers territory. The play would help set up a Brandin Cooks touchdown run that gave the Cowboys a 17-10 lead in the final frame. Without that game, the outcome likely looks different — and so does the Cowboys’ record coming out of the last week.
Worst Game – The Arizona Dagger – While the game against Arizona was as ugly as ugly gets (at least at this point in the season), the offense had a chance to make some noise late on a punt that sent Dallas inside the 10-yard line, trailing by 12. -less than five minutes to the end of the game. However, with red-zone execution becoming a louder talking point as the game went on, Dak Prescott threw a third-down interception in the back of the end zone to seal Dallas’ first loss of the season.
Biggest Surprise – Jake Ferguson – Jake Ferguson was expected to play a bigger role in 2023 as the starting tight end, but his usage and efficiency within his capabilities exceeded expectations through six games. His 21 receptions for 190 yards were third on the team as he became a safety net in the passing game for Dak Prescott. Even excluding the receiving game, Ferguson has stepped up significantly with his run blocking ability. What was once an issue in his game, his lane running defense ranks him as one of the best run blocking tight ends in the NFL.
Key Stats – 0.6 – The Cowboys finish contests with punts just 0.6 times for every offense scored, which is fourth in the NFL behind only Miami, Philadelphia and Buffalo. Why is this very specific statistic important? This proves that while the offense has had its struggles, it has still been able to deliver at the end of the shots. Taking care of the football has been a big focus for the Texas Coast offense in the offseason, and the Cowboys have done just that with just six turnovers in six games. Although drives usually stall in the red zone with the offense, Brandon Aubrey’s stellar start has kept the Cowboys on the board consistently.
UTake care of … Brandin Cooks – You could say we saw the tip of the iceberg of what Brandin Cooks can add to the Cowboys offense during the game against the Chargers when he got the ball in his hands. While his production hasn’t lived up to expectations through six games, there’s still plenty of potential at any point for Cooks to take the top off the defense and have a big day in the receiving game. His big play ability was the reason he was drafted. Expect this to be used in the next ten games.