The Dallas Cowboys are terrifying. Just ask New Yorkers.

The torn Achilles tendon that Aaron Rodgers suffered gave the New York Jets reason to have some hope after the injury. Even after suffering the loss of their star quarterback just a few plays into their first game of the season, they were still able to come out on top and defeat a team that was in the running for the Super Bowl.
Then, the Jets played against the Dallas Cowboys, the one club in the NFL that has appeared to open the year in an absolutely overpowering fashion.
Following their victory on Sunday by a score of 30-10, the Cowboys have now outscored their opponents by a total of 60 points during the first two weeks of the season. This point difference is double that of the team that is now in second place. Following its rout of the New York Giants by a score of 40-0 in the season’s first game, Dallas’ victory was its second consecutive rout of its opponent.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Cowboys are successful because they have won 12 games in each of the previous two seasons. The fact that they have been so successful over the past few years is one of the reasons why it is so shocking that they made such a significant shift during the offseason. They did this in an effort to take the next step and win the storied franchise’s first Super Bowl in nearly three decades.
In 2020, when Mike McCarthy was hired to be Dallas’ coach, the team’s offensive coordinator from the previous era, Kellen Moore, was believed to be so important that McCarthy kept Moore on to handle the team’s offense despite McCarthy taking over as head coach. It was an intriguing move, considering that McCarthy has a history of coaching teams in the offensive side of the ball, including the Green Bay Packers, for whom he was responsible for winning a Super Bowl. Despite this, he was willing to hand over the reins of the Cowboys’ offense to a young assistant coach who he had never collaborated with before.
The partnership was successful, as evidenced by the fact that both teams have qualified for the postseason in each of the last two years and even finished in the top five in points in each of those seasons.
But McCarthy moved on from Moore over this summer, and it’s not hard to understand why McCarthy was itching to spice things up. Moore was no longer a member of the team. To begin, both playoff appearances were followed by early eliminations. Even more worrisome is the fact that quarterback Dak Prescott’s effectiveness had declined, as seen by a decline in his yards per attempt and an increase in his interceptions. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs the year before, after Prescott had already thrown the most interceptions in the league during the regular season, he threw two more of them when Dallas was eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers.

McCarthy shared with the team during the offseason his belief that the offensive strategy they used the previous year was actually the most successful of their three years working together. On the other hand, he was of the opinion that it is necessary to reevaluate one’s strategy at least once every few years and that he believed it was time for the Cowboys to do so.
Moore was in charge of the offense for four seasons, during which time it was consistently ranked as one of the top offensive groups in the league. As a result of this, the Los Angeles Chargers moved quickly to get the 35-year-old assistant to develop their offense and coax the best performance possible out of the team’s standout quarterback, Justin Herbert.

Even if McCarthy, who was 59 years old at the time, didn’t set fire to the playbook, the fact that he took over play-calling duties signaled a shift in McCarthy’s overall philosophy. McCarthy, who was in charge of the Packers for 13 years, is well-versed in the conventional West Coast offensive, which places an emphasis on passing plays that are shorter but have a higher percentage of success. It is precisely the kind of technology that could perhaps assist a quarterback in taking better care of the ball.

This was on full show on Sunday when Prescott laced modest throws that destroyed a vaunted Jets unit that had ranked in the top-five a year ago and had throttled the Bills a week earlier. Those throws demolished a defense that had ranked in the top-five a year ago. Prescott was successful in 31 of 38 pass attempts, leading to 255 yards and two scores in the victory. He also did not cause the ball to be turned over.

Even when Prescott wasn’t throwing the ball down the field, the Cowboys were still able to pick up large chunks of yards thanks to CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott’s receptions with each other. These receptions demonstrated how the Cowboys were able to achieve this. After the completion of the game, Lamb had 143 receiving yards, 66 of which came after the catch.

The Cowboys had a perfect start to the season, scoring 50 unanswered points between their rout of the Giants and the beginning of their triumph on Sunday. Since 2006, no other NFL season has started with more than that many points.

It is not possible for a club to rack up that kind of run simply by scoring points. These two victories were also illustrative of why Dallas has the potential to be the league’s most well-rounded club if it continues on its current trajectory.

Since the year 2021, when the team both hired the seasoned defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and drafted the phenom pass rusher Micah Parsons, the team’s defense has been one of the best in the league, ranking among the top teams in the league. Robert Saleh, the head coach of the Jets, referred to Parsons as a “game wrecker” before Sunday’s game. Then Saleh stood by as Parsons sabotaged his offensive strategy. At the end of the game, he recorded two sacks, caused a fumble, and was a continuous threat to Rodgers’ replacement, Zach Wilson, who was intercepted three times by Dallas.

Even worse fate befell the Giants when they competed against that defense. They were unable to score because they turned the ball over three times and had a field goal and an interception blocked, both of which were returned for touchdowns by the opposing team.

“Got beat all the way around,” was how Giants head coach Brian Daboll summed up the game after it was over.