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DSF Mailbag: What is the ceiling for this team?

The Dallas Cowboys appear to be in charge of NFC East so far. We’ve seen this team get hot over the course of the season a number of times before, so what do you think this team’s cap is?

Juwan: It’s hard not to join this team right now given how they are finding ways to win ball games. At the moment, this team is good enough for a divisional round appearance. I know it can be hard to hear, but they lost to Tampa Bay. The Los Angeles Rams beat Tampa Bay and the Arizona Cardinals outscored the Rams. So at best, considering who they’ve played, Dallas is the fourth-best team in the NFC. I think before seeing Dallas play a snap, to say they’ll be 3-1 at this point would be more likely than not. Unfortunately, if Dallas is to truly be seen as a contender, it will have to beat a team that is also seen as a viable contender.

Nate: The cap for this team is Super Bowl discord. Whether this team hits their cap or not remains to be seen, but it’s pretty clear what Dallas is capable of. The Cowboys are absolutely elite offensively and can separate their opponents however they want. The question is how long this defense can hold up. The defense so far has been much better than expected, with solid side play and a good passing run that produced without its top passer. I haven’t declared the Dallas Super Bowl contenders yet, but at the Cowboys best, they can beat anyone in the league.

There was so much noise around undefeated Carolina heading into Sunday. Dallas has made it clear that they are the better team on both sides of the ball. So are the Cowboys real contenders or a product of their schedule?

Juwan: There is no doubt that Dallas is a contender. They have proven that they have many ways of dissecting defenses and, truth be told, there aren’t many elite defenses that will have enough resources to stop both the pass and the run. Tampa Bay, the Rams, Ariz. Have all shown signs of weakness on this side of the ball. Defensively, this team doesn’t just find turnovers, they literally take the ball. It will be interesting to see how the defense behaves when they are unable to create turnovers, but I have full confidence that this attack will continue to look great regardless of the opponent.

Nate: The Cowboys are absolutely a contender right now. I wouldn’t have them among the top contenders yet, but we’ve seen what Dallas is capable of. To say that Dallas’ success is the product of a schedule is also madness. Dallas looked as good as Tampa Bay on opening night, beat a solid Chargers team on the road, and beat the Panthers fairly easily. Philadelphia is the only below-par team Dallas has played so far and Dallas blew the Eagles out of the building. In conclusion: I still need to see more to position Dallas as a real competitor, but this early success is not just the product of the calendar; it’s a good football team.


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