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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

It's time for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to show up against a quality team

The Dallas Cowboys have finished the 2021-22 regular season with a 12-5 record after demolishing the Philadelphia Eagles in 51-26 beatdown. Dallas has won the NFC East for the third time since 2016 and will await their matchup for the Wild Card round, a game that will be played at AT&T Stadium. Although the Cowboys have looked dominant on both sides of the ball throughout the season, nobody can deny that they benefited greatly from playing in arguably the worst division in football. Half of their wins came against NFC East teams as Dallas went 6-0 in the division.

Image provided by CBS Sports

The Cowboys have had so much success within the division throughout Dak's tenure as Prescott has a 25-6 record against division opponents. This season, Dallas has been able to cruise once again in the division as they only won one of their divisional matchups by one possession averaging a staggering 40 points per game. The Dallas defense has also done some of their best work against divisional opponents holding NFC East teams to just 17 points per game.

While it's clear the Cowboys may be the greatest team of all time if they got to play NFC East opponents every week, NFL fans know that the competition will increase come playoff time. Dallas' play against teams that have winning records or are considered on the same level as them should definitely give Cowboys fans cause to pause.

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For example, in the opening game of this year's regular season, Dallas faced off against the defending champion Buccaneers and lost in a close matchup with a final score of 31-29. Although Dallas looked great offense and their defense forced four turnovers, they still gave up 31 points and lost a game where they outplayed Tampa Bay from start to finish. The second blunder of the season for Dallas came against the Denver Broncos when Dallas entered the game with a 6-1 record and Denver was right at .500 at 4-4. Although this didn't seem like a huge test for the Cowboys, Denver came into that game having one of the top ranked defenses in terms of scoring and still currently sit at third in points per game allowed at 18.9. The top-ranked Dallas offense was shut out through three quarters of that game and their defense gave up 30 points to an offense that currently ranks 19th in yards per game and only averages a pedestrian 19.7 points per game.

Similarly, the Cowboys played on the road against Kansas City in what was a highly anticipated matchup. The game ended up being a disappointment as Dallas was held to nine points on three field goals and zero touchdowns. The defense did play well in this game only giving up 19 points, but the offense failed to show up in a big spot in what could've been a statement game. Finally, the Cowboys played the Arizona Cardinals last week in a game that left many Cowboys fans disappointed. The Cardinals were coming off a three game losing streak that featured a loss to the Detroit Lions and were without DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and James Connor on offense. The Dallas defense played terrific only giving up two touchdowns, but the Dallas offense managed just seven points through three quarters and had to play catch up in the fourth. Coming off a 56 point performance against Washington, Dallas had all the momentum and could not manage to beat Arizona.

Image provided by Bleacher Report

Despite all this, it hasn't always come easy for Dallas this year. In week two, they got a huge victory over the Los Angeles Chargers and held Justin Herbert and the LA offense to just 17 points. Against Bill Belichick and the Patriots, Dallas' offense came to play against what is now the league's third ranked defense in yards allowed and first in scoring giving up just 16.9 points per game. Dallas won that game 35-29 and Dak Prescott threw for 445 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cowboys clearly have the talent to dominate their division and compete with everybody outside of their divsion, but they need to put it all together and win big games against quality teams and it has to start in their upcoming Wild Card game next weekend.

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