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Eatman: Good Luck Trying to Figure This Team Out


ARLINGTON, Texas – Name the emotion … this game had it.

Excitement, frustration, joy, nostalgia, happiness, sadness, heartbreak, pride and then relief.

All in a span of three hours and 18 minutes.

That's the NFL, and more importantly, that's your Dallas Cowboys.

Or should I say first-place Dallas Cowboys? Well, yeah I guess I could. They are in first place of a really bad NFC East with a 2-3 record. This football team has won only two games, and haven't beaten a team that even has a victory. But they're in first place – go figure.

The Cowboys lose their heart-and-soul quarterback, the only skill player on this team who is playing at an All-Pro level, and they still find a way to gut out a win – go figure.

The listed crowd of 25,147 people at AT&T Stadium managed to create quite a roar after Greg Zuerlein booted through the game-winning field goal. But it was the same crowd that found itself eerily quiet as their leader, their hero, was on the turf in tears with an ankle injury that I've admittedly only seen once and will hope to keep it that way.

The Cowboys' defense once again had moments of shakiness from the start. It really wasn't that shaky, just really bad. The Giants couldn't score any points leading up to this game and Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett had them flea-flicking, fake-field goaling and running tight end reverses to throw the Cowboys off.

But, it was the defense that actually scored a touchdown. The defense made some stops at the end to give them a chance to win. And don't look now, but the Cowboys were allowing 36.5 points per game and only gave up 34. Yeah, go figure once again.

And speaking of Garrett, who was with the Cowboys for 13 years, including nine full seasons as the head coach, he was standing right there when Dak Prescott got hurt. Leave it to Garrett, who has never been short on class, to be standing right next to his successor Mike McCarthy as they tried to give support to the fallen quarterback.

Dak is laying there in the worst moment of his career and the two head coaches he's ever had are standing right there. That's a go figure if there ever was one.

And what about the special teams? Once again, the kicking game had its share of issues. They nearly gave up a fake field goal for a touchdown only to be nullified because of an illegal shift penalty. They had 12 on the field that gave the Giants three more points. There were two plays in which the Cowboys only had 10 players on the field goal units.

But in the end, the Cowboys make two field goals, including the game-winner. Yes, go figure.

And it's individual players as well. Jaylon Smith and DeMarcus Lawrence have been criticized up and down for their lack of production through four games. Both of them arguably had their best games of the season. "D-Law" even helped to get seven points with his strip-sack that led to Anthony Brown's touchdown.

On offense, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup were relatively quiet all game but both had clutch receptions on the final drive that led to the game-winner.

I guess that's what the Cowboys are going to be. They're going to be that "just when you think it's one way, it's not" type of team.

Through five games, it's been that kind of season. I guess you could say it's been that kind of year in general.

But either way, the Cowboys are 2-3. You can laugh at the fact that they're in first place, but everyone is laughing at this division anyway. Someone has to win it and even though Dak is hurt, the Cowboys have just as good a chance as any other team.

Think about it, do the Cowboys still have the best quarterback in the NFC East? I think you could make the case for Philadelphia's Carson Wentz over Andy Dalton, but it's probably close. I still believe the Cowboys have the best offense in this division and once Dalton starts taking all the reps, they should be able to get some wins. It won't be as explosive, but could be productive.

Then again, that's what I think right now. With this team, things could change by the hour.

By next week, the entire narrative of this season could change.

But for now, let's just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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