Are the Cowboys poised to make a deep run in the postseason?
Team legend Jason Witten thinks all the ingredients are there.
Appearing on CBS Sports' "Maggie and Perloff" on Friday, the former two-time All-Pro tight end revealed that these Cowboys might be the most complete version of the team since the glory years of the 1990s.
"The biggest thing, I would say, is I don't see any weaknesses in the Cowboys," Witten said. "There's always times for every team, if 'OK we have to play that team, they can run the football, or that quarterback is so dangerous.'
"But if you look at the Cowboys, they can stop the run. They're leading the league in pass defense. Dak seems confident. Zeke is getting healthy. CeeDee Lamb is turning into a No. 1 receiver. Micah Parsons, I mean you can't stop this guy -- I wish he came eight years earlier. That would have been nice.
"So, I just don't think there's any weaknesses. Certainly, Philly's the top of the league, in their division. When you get to the playoffs, everybody's going to be pretty good. So, I think for the Cowboys, it's just block out all of that noise, play your best football when it's needed. And I think they set up really nice down the stretch."
The good times are rolling for the Cowboys, who are 9-3 and winners of three consecutive games after a hiccup against the Packers in Week 10.
It's hard to believe now that things looked much bleaker earlier in the season. Quarterback Dak Prescott missed five games in the team's season-opening loss to the Buccaneers, but team went 4-1 in that stretch behind backup Cooper Rush.
For Witten, that crucial stretch of games marked a turning point.
"They didn't look like they were playing very well, and then you got to go to your backup quarterback. But, really as a fan, and probably even internally they're saying like, 'Hey if we can just go .500 in these games, while he's out -- whatever it is, five games, six games.' But, I think that's where the season kind of evolved for them. The supporting cast stepped up. They were able to win games without Dak, their franchise quarterback. Now he comes back, gets healthy, confident.
"You look back early in the season, it seems like two years ago, we're talking about Week 2 in early September, but winning those games early puts them in a position to have a nice chance here going down the stretch. Regardless of whether they win the division or not, but the confidence in the level in which they're playing, people say, it's a cliche, but play your best football at the right time. That's Bill Belichick 101. It seems like Dallas is doing that."
As the Cowboys look ahead to the postseason, the question now becomes what their roster will look like come January -- more specifically, whether free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will come aboard. The Cowboys have been linked to Beckham, and recently met with him.
Witten thinks such a move "makes sense," but he also doesn't see it as a must.
"I think they're at a luxury here, where it's kind of icing on the cake. CeeDee Lamb has kind of proven to be a No. 1, Michael Gallup is getting healthy. I mentioned Zeke and Pollard. Obviously, when Odell is healthy, he's a game-changer. You look at adding him to the mix as you go into the playoff run, you know he has that ability to kind of go score at any point in time he has the ball. Great catch radius. So, it makes sense, but I think they're also in the position where their hand's not forced, which is where you want to be as a team, and certainly from a management standpoint, so I'm actually really anxious to see how it plays out for Odell."
Elsewhere, Witten had high praise for Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield, who led his new team to a win on Thursday Night Football despite very little preparation time. He also explained why he sees Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts as the leader in the clubhouse for MVP, and whey he was surprised Rob Gronkowski didn't return to the gridiron this season.