FRISCO, TX — Statistically speaking, the difference between moving to a 4-2 record versus stalling to a 3-3 start is much larger than most people realize. Facing the latter as they marched onto the field at SoFi Stadium on Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys mounted up and delivered a gritty victory against Kellen Moore's offense and the Los Angeles Chargers defense.
The 20-17 win has owner and general manager Jerry Jones levitating — as he noted in his radio address to 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday, speaking from owner's meetings in New York.
"Didn't have to get on an airplane," he said. "I was flying without anything as I went across this country last night after the game. It was really a great experience."
It wasn't the cleanest of contests for either team, both suffering a rash of penalties in what ultimately boiled down to a game-winning boot by Brandon Aubrey that was secured by a final drive shutdown by way of a sack from Micah Parsons and an interception by Stephon Gilmore.
Win pretty or win ugly, just win.
"It was a hard-fought game," said Jones. "They've got a good quarterback and good players. We respected them going in. They were everything we thought they'd be. I'm really proud that we got out there and had that kind of win against them."
Dak Prescott delivered the best outing of his 2023 season, using both his legs and his arm to will the Cowboys' offense forward on many occasions. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback went on to label the game a must-win following the victory, and Jones agrees.
It was one the Cowboys absolutely had to have, especially given the events of the week prior.
"We did well," Jones said. "That was an important win for us and, yes, we did need to win because of the disappointment we had in San Francisco. We'll use this bye week to really evaluate our first six games. We're a long way down the road from when we left training camp, and we've got a long way to go."
As stated, there is still much work to be done to get the offense firing on all cylinders, but there is renewed reason for optimism when factoring in Prescott's resurgent mobility and escapability along with the debut of Brandin Cooks' explosiveness for Dallas.
Heading into their bye week, they can feel solid about owning a record of 4-2 during a stretch that included four road games — three of which were in the Pacific Time Zone.
They'll need to refresh and reload for Week 8, when one of the California-based teams travel to meet the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, namely the Los Angeles Rams.
"I think we do have serious room for improvement — we have that," said Jones. "We're not yet the team we can be. The major limiting factor for our team to evolve and get better will be availability of players we're counting on. Injury, principally, is the problem. But if we can stay healthy, we will evolve and get better.
"We have outstanding talent."