Ben DiNucci looked overwhelmed last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. That should surprise no one. This week, Garrett Gilbert exceeded expectations against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He moved around the pocket well and made accurate throws when he had his feet set. Gilbert did enough to give the Cowboys a chance to win. Moving forward, that should be taken into consideration heading into the bye week. It will be disappointing for Cowboys fans if Gilbert doesn’t get the start week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Don’t look now, but maybe the team never quit on Mike McCarthy. I can’t recall one instance where a team quit on a head coach and then played hard for them again. This week, the Cowboys played hard for McCarthy. Maybe Mike Nolan isn’t this historically bad defensive coordinator after all, but the jury is still out. For the second week in a row, Nolan’s defense looked improved. For the amount of talent on the defense, I don’t think one can expect much more. Kellen Moore also deserves credit for calling a good game after receiving criticism throughout the season.
Injuries clearly played a factor against the Steelers. Ezekiel Elliott lacked struggled against the Steelers after dealing with a hamstring injury throughout the week. Tony Pollard looked explosive and was the better running back on the day. The question remains how much this hamstring injury has potentially effected Elliott to start the season and if he will look more like his former self when healthy.
Garrett Gilbert learned right before the game started that he would not be taking snaps from Tyler Biadisz. Hopefully with a full two weeks to prepare for their next opponent, the Cowboys will build more continuity on offense. Ezekiel Elliott also clearly needs to rest. It was questionable that he even played against the Steelers. Luckily, it seems like he came out of the game fairly unscathed, but the Cowboys need Elliott to be rested and at his full potential the second half of the season.
For the first time since early on in the season, this Cowboys team is finally showing signs of life. No, Dallas didn’t beat Pittsburgh on Sunday, but they were convincing enough to look like they could actually win some games against teams the rest of the season. As of right now, last place in the division and a top 5-10 draft pick isn’t out of the question. But neither is winning the division. As bizarre as it sounds, this Cowboys aren’t as far away winning the division as it seems.
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