The Dallas Cowboys finally played a game with a functioning offense, bringing hope that they might be able to turn thing around and go on a run for the division this year.
In the first three games, the defensive side of the ball was the only place to find positives on this team. The entire offense was under performing, no talent was stepping up at any moment and they completely lacked an identity.
They have a long ways to go before establishing even the slightest amount of trust, but their victory against the Lions was the first time the offense looked like a unit that could win games, because it was not the same old thing we saw in the first three games.
The Cowboys have maintained a simple and straight forward offense, but they would have crumbled without adjustments. With so much young talent, the coaching staff needed to figure out what had to be done to get them in positions to succeed.
The most noticeable difference was the comfort of Dak Prescott. The biggest reason for that was the offensive line coming together, but that was not the adjustment they made. The Cowboys finally gave Prescott a bit more freedom. He continually looked his best while playing in an up tempo offense, with more control at the line of scrimmage.
Prescott finally had the time and rhythm to find players downfield, and now people are starting to realize that these receivers will be able to get some separation.
The Cowboys knew that a lot of things had to change in order for Prescott to be able to succeed with this team, and the more time the coaches have the better they will be at finding ways to get Prescott going.
Additionally, the Cowboys finally got their best weapon going with Prescott. Ezekiel Elliot had one of his most dominant games of the season, and the way he was used needs to be the new blueprint for the remainder of the season.
The running game will stay relatively straight forward, but there is no doubt that Elliot can be their best weapon in the passing game too. The Cowboys made a clear effort to make Elliot more of an option in the passing game, and that is a boost that can help any quarterback.
When Prescott is able to get big plays on easy completions, it helps everything settle down and opens things up down field. The Cowboys saw how dangerous Elliot can be in the passing game against the Lions, and that role should only increase.
These were not major adjustments by the coaches, but even something as small as deferring the opening kick off for the first time in years proves that these coaches are searching for answers and want to make the adjustments that help them succeed. The Cowboys look like they are taking a gradual approach, which should help maintain the improvement as they continue to adjust.
The Cowboys do not have the talent to be a truly elite offense, but they are finally showing signs of being an offense that needs to be respected. There is talent for them to use, but the inexperience in this lineup will make things difficult.
It will be a gradual process, but the Cowboys have started adjusting in a way that is helping the offense significantly. They will be searching for answers all season long, but if they can establish some consistency, especially in the running game, they have a defense that can carry them.
With an offense that gradually adjusts and improves, the Cowboys are a threat to surprise everyone with a division title. Right now, however, they are far from favorites, because one slightly improved game is nowhere near enough to believe they have turned a significant corner.