In March, when the Dallas Cowboys offered Dak Prescott a four-year, $ 160 million deal, including $ 66 million at signing, the team was challenged for doing business with the heart rather than the head.
The doubts were justifiable, considering Prescott was coming off a horrendous ankle injury and the Cowboys had questions to answer, which extended well beyond the quarterback position.RELATED
Now, the doubts have been cleared and the investment of Dallas not only seems safe, but smart. After all, no team has been more productive on offense than the Cowboys, who will seek their sixth straight win on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Vikings (3-3).
The Cowboys enter the game with the best attack in the NFL, a unit that averages 34.1 points per game, an incredibly similar production (32.8) to what the team had in the first five games of 2020, so far of Prescott’s injury.
That production had Dallas going 2-3. Ultimately, the Cowboys were out of the playoffs for the second year in a row. This year, their 5-1 record allows them to control their division, with a favorable schedule on the horizon.
The difference in the line of wins is not exclusively attributable to Prescott’s production or an offense packed with talent at all positions, but also to a defense that went from being the 28th worst in the NFL in 2020 to a unit capable of containing what you need to your opponents.
This Sunday that defense would be put to the test. Not only does he have a balanced team like Minnesota up against, but Prescott could be physically limited with a sore calf.
But it’s hard to detract from a defense that comes in with the second-most steals (14) in the entire NFL, including seven interceptions by cornerback Trevon Diggs. That can’t be good news for Kirk Cousins and a Vikings looking for their third straight win.
Cousins has 13 touchdown passes for just two interceptions this season, but has lost in five of his last six starts to Dallas. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone.
It features explosive running back Dalvin Cook to put Dallas’s renewed defense to the test, which ranks fifth in the entire NFL against the run.
A Dallas win on Sunday could catapult the team to new heights, especially considering that none of their next three rivals boast a winn ing record. But it’s impossible to miss a Minnesota team, whose three losses this season have been by a total of 11 points.
BUCCANEERS (6-1) at NEW ORLEANS (4-2)
The last time Tom Brady ran into the Saints in the regular season, he left the stadium with the worst loss of his brilliant career in tow.
A couple of months later, it was Brady and the Bucs who had the last laugh, eliminating New Orleans on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs in what would eventually be the last game of Drew Brees’ career.
With Brady still in full swing at 44, the Bucs visit New Orleans armed with a powerful attack and riding a wave of 14 wins in their last 15 games, including the Super Bowl. That might be too much for a few Saints still searching for their identity in the post-Brees era.
The Saints have won the last five meetings against the Bucs on the regular schedule, but that was when Brees was there and Brady wasn’t. Now, the roles have been exchanged. The only good news for New Orleans is that their defense is up to the challenge.
The Saints defense has not allowed more than 27 points in any game this season and they have left the opposition 13 or fewer three times, including Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on the first Sunday of the season. But it is not the same to face Daniel Jones, Mac Jones, Taylor Heinecke or Geno Smith than to run into the current champions.
Tampa Bay is averaging 33.7 points per game and Brady leads the entire NFL in passing yards (2,275) and touchdown passes (21) and with a game of four TDs on Sunday, he would seize another pair of records that he currently shares with Brees the most games with three (97) and four (37) touchdown passes in league history.
The eighth week began Thursday with the Green Bay Packers’ 24-21 win at the Arizona Cardinals, who lost their undefeated condition this season.
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes to Randall Cobb for Green Bay (7-1), while Kyler Murray suffered a painful interception late for the Cardinals (7-1).
The activity will continue on Sunday with the following matches: Panthers (3-4) in Atlanta (3-3); Dolphins (1-6) at Buffalo (4-2); 49ers (2-4) at Chicago (3-4); Steelers (3-3) at Cleveland (4-3); Eagles (2-5) at Detroit (0-7); Rams (6-1) at Houston (1-6); Titans (5-2) at Indianapolis (3-4); Bengals (5-2) at NY Jets (1-5); Patriots (3-4) at LA Chargers (4-2); Jaguars (1-5) at Seattle (2-5); and Washington (2-5) in Denver (3-4).
The date concludes Monday night with the visit of the Giants (2-5) to the Chiefs (3-4), who are coming off their worst offensive production since Patrick Mahomes took over as Kansas City.
Raiders (5-2) and Ravens (5-2) have their bye week.