Dak-Less Cowboys' SNF Win Shows Dallas Finally Has a Super Bowl Caliber Team

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Cooper Rush, the Dallas Cowboys' backup quarterback, should have dressed up as Dak Prescott for Sunday's Halloween match with the Minnesota Vikings.

Rush's performance speaks well of the Cowboys roster, and how much it has grown from last year to this one. This growth places them in the Super Bowl conversation.

Prescott sustained a severe ankle injury in Week 5 last season. The 28-year old signal-caller has been out for 385 days after suffering a severe calf injury. This happened after a 5-1 run.

Rush threw for 325 yard and two touchdowns in his first career start. NFL Research reports that Rush, a former undrafted-free agent, became the first quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in a win. He also made his first road start during primetime.

It is amazing to see the contrast between this year's squad and last years.

Prescott was replaced by Andy Dalton during the previous season. The Cowboys were unable to generate consistent ball movement without Prescott, except for a 377-yard pass-outburst in Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles. In his 11 appearances, Dalton averaged 6.5 yards of passing per attempt. The injuries to the offensive line were a problem. Defense was also a problem for the team. However, Dallas was unable to find consistency with its quarterbacks.

Based on the current structure of the Cowboys, Sunday's performance demonstrated that the opposite could occur.

In this instance, the franchise signal-caller needs to be back in the lineup soon. Rush is a minor league reliever who waits for the closer to come out of the bullpen. Rush, like any great pitcher, can trust his teammates to do their jobs and keep the team rolling with a winning record.

This game-winning drive demonstrated how much talent the Cowboys have and why they still play well in spite of adversity.

With 2:51 remaining, the Cowboys took possession of the ball at their 35 yard line after the Vikings made a field goal. Rush threw it 10 times straight. Amari Cooper assumed control at that point. The game-winning drive saw Amari Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, make two stunning catches.

Rush targeted Cooper with what appeared to be a back-shoulder throw. However, the ball was not perfectly placed. Bashaud Breeland, cornerback, tried to make a play for the ball but fell backwards. Cooper was able to keep his concentration intact and track the deflected pass. The receiver made a remarkable grab.

Six plays later Cooper captained the drive and won the last-minute victory. He beat one-on-one coverage at the end zone and displayed incredible body control, going up and over Cameron Dantzler, and then coming down with the game-winning grab.

"We are confident. Cooper said that he believes we can overcome any obstacle after the game.

Cooper was the leader among receivers, with eight receptions totalling 122 yards. He didn't dominate the contest. Rush passed seven targets.

CeeDee Lamb had six catches and 112 yards. Cedrick Wilson had three catches for 84, with a touchdown of 73 yards. Wilson's best play was not due to his wide receiver skills. He instead went back to high school, where he was the quarterback with the best passing performance of the night.

Wilson chose a smoke route and rolled to his right to escape pressure. He then threw a rope at Lamb for a completion of 35 yards.

If a team has multiple players, the goal should be to give them all the ball and let them do their thing. Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' offensive coordinator, was able to do exactly that with his playcalling. Dallas realized it had an advantage thanks to its wide receivers, and made the most of it.

In an effort to prevent Rush from making a mistake, the Vikings decided to play off-coverage. The backup-turned-starter made one with an interception. He took what was at his disposal and picked apart Minnesota's secondary. Moore used the exact approach the Vikings offered him and he benefited from it.

NFL Next Gen Stats shows that 85.9% of Cooper and Lamb combined receiving yards were against off-coverage. Rush took advantage of the Cowboys' decision to go down the field and take a shot at Rush. Rush's 224 passing yards on throws of 10 or more yards is the most by any Dallas quarterback in a single season. When under pressure, the fifth-year signal-caller had 139 passing yards.

Remember that Tyron Smith was injured in his ankle and left the contest. It was no problem. The team added Ty Nsekhe, a veteran swing tackle, and continued moving the ball. Dallas also has La'el Collins, another option. Moore also created a diamond formation, with two of the biggest backup linemen to help Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas' dynamic duo was not as successful with 76 combined yards of rushing, but they are both crucial in the passing game as Elliott's blocking and as both receiving threats.

Cowboys' offense has many weapons, and they don’t need a quarterback of MVP caliber to make it work. They do have one, and he will be back soon.

Team success is dependent on the defense. Dallas was among the league's 10 worst in total defense last season. Although opposing offenses still have the ability to move the ball on Dan Quinn’s team, the overall performance has increased exponentially.

Minnesota managed 278 yards total with almost all skill position performers and a rapidly improving rookie Christian Darrisaw as left tackle. However, the Vikings were only 1-of-14 on third down.

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Dallas is flying to the football, and it's playing an even better defense. Although the group wasn't as opportunistic as in previous contests, it features Trevon Diggs, Trevon Gregory and Micah Parsons as difference-makers.

Parsons is on his way to being named NFL Defensive Rookie-of-the Year. Parsons led all defenders with 11 total tackles, and four tackles for losses.

Mike McCarthy's team overcame the obstacles and advanced. Prescott and their team are as dangerous as any in the NFC. You might not see it, but Cowboys' quarterback could be back in the lineup within a matter of minutes. This means Dallas will be terrifyingly good.

"For sure. When Prescott was asked about his plans for next weekend's game against the Denver Broncos, Prescott said that he was just getting ready. "I'm a guy who takes it day by day. I'm going celebrate with the guys and worry about tomorrow's rehabbing.