Six days and Mike McCarthy must feel comfortable but not achieved.
With this 5-1 mark, the Cowboys have returned to prominence for good, because not a year ago they were on everyone’s lips but due to poor results.
Incredible to think that there is only one team left undefeated, the Cardinals who host a fallen Texans, and that a breather more or less in Tampa and these same Cowboys could have reached their forced rest equally undefeated.
But the truth, that competitive loss could have been a positive effect, considering that the victories against Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, Giants and Patriots were largely the result of adjustments that were made just after leaving Florida for Texas.
This week McCarthy told them to stay calm, don’t speculate, and spend it with family and friends. So far only one mishap has been reported, and hence nothing that complicates the balance that has been achieved.
McCarthy himself, along with his coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn, know that they have to keep targeting the disciplines that have guided them up to this point, but insisting that there is room for improvement in all aspects.
The amount of penalties against the Patriots was the negative veil of such an emotional victory at Foxborough, because everywhere, from Dak Prescott himself, Randy Gregory and Trevon Diggs, he was able to go into halftime with his head held high.
There is still a lot of game in between with the first goal being that of the divisional championship, getting into the big party and stepping on the accelerator towards the limelight.
Considering what lies ahead, I pass on my 5 Keys to the Game for this bye week.
Key 1 – Health. Every team in the NFL has key players at every position, and talking about the health of a team is really talking about the chances of flying into the postseason. This rough game of tackling is one of continuous and severe contact and the specter of injuries will always be present, but of the factors that sink teams, injuries are indefensible. Staying healthy largely follows a pace of preparation that keeps players alert and in the best physical condition to compete, and this is evident to McCarthy and company.
Key 2 – Reinforcements. For the return to the Vikings on Sunday October 31 there could be several players who came out with injuries at the beginning of the season. The most notorious case is that of Demarcus Lawrence, whose date could now be until November 7 when they host the Broncos at AT&T Stadium. As the frontal has been playing, the return of an energized “Tank” will be more than welcome, but considering that they have taken the time to figure out why they have been able to neutralize it, it being evident that the chaos that he brought at the beginning of his career and that a generational millionaire has tended to decline. It is time for this number 90 to return to the heights heading to another Bowl of the Professionals.
Key 3 – The rear. Again the cowboy high school is in the statistical basement, and if a lot has changed with a 2020 defense that had no direction but up, this department is still in the same. Cornerback Diggs’ play has been explosive, but too many big plays continue to be allowed among safeties, particularly 20-yard passes that turn into home runs. The next three weeks will be the Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater and Patrick Mahomes who will be throwing stones at them and even though the problem will not be completely solved, Dan Quinn has to achieve some adjustment to improve in this area, because of sneezing the offense , the big plays are the real kryptonite for the NFL‘s 30th pass defense.
Key 4 – Clear your mind. The bye week is one to unwind, considering the rigor with which it is lived day after day from minicamps to camps in Oxnard and Frisco. It is definite that those focused on the medium term, know that there is a lot of game left in between, and that 5-1 is good, but it is not time to jump into the hammock. This week is to enjoy the calm, instead of letting go of your hair without anyone telling you that it is time to go to sleep, as is customary on tour the night before the game. It is the famous “bed check”, where they are knocked on the door and it is the obligation of the ‘checker’ to physically see the player, that is, nothing that he is bathing. Well, players should understand that the forced rest is not to release the rein but to tighten it, while taking a moment of calm.
Key 5 – Let’s not forget the obvious. The most fundamental things in this sport are the seeds of a leading team. The Cowboys’ structure is grounded in solid offensive line play, and the evolution since that first night in Tampa has been consistent and predictable. La’el Collins’s comeback can only be seen as a positive, considering he won’t be coming back with distractions, and the question is whether returning him to right tackle and sitting Terrence Steele is the best idea, considering the good stride he’s been on. No matter what happens, and as the musical chairs of the cowboy bodyguards are going to be given to Minneapolis, we must remember that what works is not fixed …