The Dallas Cowboys are 10-1, they’ve won 10 straight games and they are more or less a lock to finish with the best record in the NFC and lock down home-field advantage in the playoffs.
But Dallas has to have a weakness. What is it?
“There’s no question it’s on defense,” TheMMQB.com’s Albert Breer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They play their entire game through that offensive line, which they should. That’s the way this team’s built, and they are an absolute force of nature on offense. I look at the group on that side of the ball and I don’t see a real weakness, and that allows them to mitigate a lot of the problems on defense because a) they’re controlling the clock and eliminating possessions for the other team’s offense, and b) in a lot of cases, they’re usually playing with a lead, which allows you to do all kinds of different things on defense.
“So I think that that’s going to be kind of where they’re at when they get into the crucial games at the end of the year to try and win home field, which it looks like they’re going to be in position to do, and when they get into the playoffs,” Breer continued. “I think that (they have) personnel issues on defense that, look, I don’t think you can just fix. Being able to play their style of football, being able to control the game through the offense, is crucial to what they’re able to do.”
While many people have credited Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott – and rightly so – for the Cowboys’ rise, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli deserves praise as well.
“He may be the best assistant coach in the NFL this year for the job that he’s done,” Breer said. “Not only when you consider the fact that they aren’t the most talented team on that side of the ball, but also when you consider what they’ve been through the last couple of years, moving Greg Hardy out of there and then all of the suspensions. Whether it’s Randy Gregory or Rolando McClain, they’ve dealt with an avalanche of problems, but Rod Marinelli has been able to help them get through that by developing young players and by calling the defense the right way. But a lot of it hinges on them continuing to uphold this high standard on offense, which allows them to play a certain type of game.”
Dallas plays the Vikings (6-5) in Minnesota this Sunday at 8:25 p.m. ET.