The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to be one of the worst teams in football this year with unquestionably the worst defense.
Four weeks into the season, however, the Cowboys are 3-1, tied with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead and have allowed 17 points or fewer in three of their four games, including Sunday night’s 38-17 win over the New Orleans Saints – a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Heck, Dallas led 24-0 at halftime and 31-3 through three quarters.
“I just think we wanted to do the fundamentals of the game,” Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We wanted to do the fundamentals of football. We wanted to run to the ball. We wanted to be physical. We wanted to tackle well. We wanted to execute our assignment.”
They did. The Saints looked completely discombobulated and out of sync in the first half and only got going for a brief stretch in the fourth quarter when the outcome had more or less been decided.
“We got great coaches, and we have a lot of trust in our coaches,” Scandrick said. “We just came out and we were physical, we got turnovers, we got momentum and we didn’t take our foot off the gas.”
Scandrick, who finished with seven tackles – second most on the team – played a huge role in the win but was extremely happy just to be a part of it. Scandrick had been suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for Ecstasy in the offseason. The suspension, however, was decreased to two games.
“It was crazy,” Scandrick said. “It was a very difficult, dark time in my life. I thank God and I’m just thankful that it’s over, and I’m thankful for the people who fought through the situation to help me through the situation.”
Fellow cornerback Morris Claiborne will need that same support – albeit for different reasons. Claiborne, who was recently demoted, tore the patellar tendon in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season.
“Obviously, it takes away a really good player from our defense – a playmaking player with tons of ability,” Scandrick said. “He’s going to be (missed a lot).”
And yet, the show must go on. Dallas hosts Houston (3-1) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Despite all the doom and gloom in the preseason, can we officially buy into the Cowboys now?
“I don’t understand,” Scandrick said. “We bought in since April when we started our first day of offseason. We are 3-1, but now we got the next game coming up, which is the most important game of our season. We’re going to approach this thing one week at a time.”
Yes, but can we buy into the Cowboys?
“You can buy into the fact that we won (Sunday) night and now we got a game (this) week and it’s the most important game of the season,” Scandrick said.