“Unequivocally” is the phrase of the day, and it’s a high-quality phrase, particularly for those who’re a Dallas Cowboys fan.
You may prefer it as a result of it provides emphasis with a contact of sophistication, lengthy sufficient to sound necessary but not so nerdy to be past the bounds of standard use.
Or, for these whose fall-and-winter existence breathes to the rhythm of the Cowboys’ fortunes, it simply turned one thing soothing and cheery. As a result of Jerry Jones mentioned it, and he meant it — and it did not sound like hyperbole.
“A convincing ‘sure,'” mentioned the Cowboys’ proprietor and normal supervisor, after a 40-3 Sunday torching of the Minnesota Vikings prompted the query of whether or not the Cowboys (7-3) had the look of a real Tremendous Bowl contender.
“Sure … unequivocally.”
Jones has mentioned unusual issues through the years, made huge statements, walked the high-quality line between honesty and optimism and executed what he is presupposed to — which is to get the Nationwide Soccer League’s largest fan base feeling excited and hopeful. These sentiments, we have come to know, do not at all times final lengthy.
This time, it simply feels totally different. Like the way it’s not simply bluster. Like how the outspoken proprietor may presumably be — you have to be kidding me now — underselling the fact of the place Mike McCarthy’s squad sits among the many league’s 2022 aristocrats.
It is a scaled-up model of the Cowboys. Jones by no means lied, and Dallas followers by no means utterly lied to themselves. However what has occurred, 12 months upon 12 months, tease after tease, is that the workforce’s elite gamers — they at all times have elite gamers — would placed on the occasional unfold of brilliance, an eye-popping stat line or a dynamic sequence of performs, establishing a flashy win right here and there and resulting in what was, in the end, false hope.
Simply because a workforce can typically play at a excessive stage does not imply they are going to when it issues. All too typically, ever because the final Tremendous Bowl triumph within the 1995 season, the silver-and-blue have flattered to deceive. Gaudy, unsustainable bursts with no sufficiently small of mediocrity tossed in.
Not now. Dallas is not good, however it’s ready a minimum of as buoyant as every other workforce within the NFC and excess of most. The NFC East will not be past attain, because it seems, with the Philadelphia Eagles abruptly trying extra fallible and simply two video games forward. By beating the beforehand 8-1 Vikings, conquerors of the Buffalo Bills within the season’s finest recreation, Dallas confirmed that occurring the highway throughout the postseason shouldn’t be one thing to concern.
As for the skeptics, I hear you. Don’t fret, I actually do. I do know all that is coming only a week after a letdown towards the Green Bay Packers. And that previous expertise would not let you go all in, identical to that.
Prescott went down in an unpleasant season-opening loss. Cooper Rush got here in and the workforce surged. Prescott returned, and so they’ve reached new heights. The Cowboys have typically misplaced however by no means regarded like they have been toppling over, or inflicting defeat upon themselves.
It’s like there’s a backbone to the Cowboys season, a resolve that comes from being well-rounded and well-positioned to win.
“I feel we have had adversity,” Jones informed reporters. “We very simply may have extra adversity. If we use the expertise of what we’re having within the season, then we’ll be playoff-ready. However I certain do suppose that what I see out right here proper now could be a workforce you possibly can go get a Tremendous Bowl with.”
Prescott regarded as composed as he ever has on the weekend. He was 22-of-25 with 276 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. It felt like much more, so full was the dominance over a workforce that hadn’t misplaced at dwelling since December.
The Cowboys protection is beginning to look really intimidating, too (and no, it is not simply Micah Parsons making performs) and it’s all including as much as a brand new phenomenon, the scary Dallas Cowboys, which has been lacking for years as a result of inconsistent and scary do not mesh.
There’s a fast turnaround earlier than Thursday’s conflict with the New York Giants (4:30 p.m. ET on FOX) and this season makes no concession for kind and fame when choosing its winners. Sure, the Cowboys have been magnificent in Minnesota and sure, the Giants laid an egg at dwelling. Make no mistake, Thursday’s tussle will likely be an arm-wrestle worthy of consideration, and each side will know what’s on the road.
However it is usually okay for Dallas followers to simply take pleasure in how this feels for some time. To take pleasure in phrases like “dependable” and “composed” and really feel that their workforce is comfy sporting them.
To permit ideas of a Tremendous Bowl cost to drift into their thoughts, and to see the standing as a contender as one thing that would not require a sequence of flukes, some unseen happenstance or a sudden shift within the workforce’s persona.
It is a shoe that matches now, a actuality that does not appear foolish to say.
The Cowboys; within the combine, bringing it, a part of the dialogue of the season and the place it’d lead. Solidly. Impressively.
And sure, Jerry, we did not neglect. Unequivocally.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the writer of the FOX Sports activities Insider e-newsletter. Observe him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.
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