Dak Prescott guides unbeaten Cowboys to win, but challenges await

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the first time since 2008, the Dallas Cowboys are 3-0 with their 31-6 win against the Miami Dolphins (0-3) on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

But just how good are they?

You can only play who is on the schedule, but the Cowboys' first three opponents, the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Dolphins were ranked Nos. 30-32 in ESPN's Power Rankings entering Week 3.

Next week, the Cowboys play the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), and while Drew Brees will not play because of thumb surgery, the Saints promise to be more of a challenge and a better barometer of just how good the Cowboys are.

The Cowboys got away with a subpar first half against Miami that they might not be able to get away with against other teams.

Dak Prescott had as many incompletions in the first half than he had in the Cowboys' first two games before rallying in the third quarter with his second touchdown pass of the day to Amari Cooper and his first rushing touchdown of the season.

The defense was saved by a forced fumble by Jaylon Smith that DeMarcus Lawrence recovered at the Dallas 9 late in the first half when Miami was driving for a go-ahead score. In the second half, they allowed Miami to drive into Cowboys' territory twice.

The Cowboys are about to enter a tougher part of the docket with the Green Bay Packers (Oct. 6), New York Jets (Oct. 13) and Philadelphia Eagles (Oct. 20) up next before the Week 8 bye.

Describe the game in two words: Sloppy, but. It wasn't pretty, but at the end of the season nobody will remember how sloppy this one was if the Cowboys go on to bigger things.

QB breakdown: Prescott had an uncharacteristically poor first half. He was hurt by a couple of drops, but he was not accurate and made a bad decision on his interception. After scrambling away from pressure, Prescott forced a deep ball toward Randall Cobb, giving Bobby McCain the interception. One of Prescott's best attributes is his decision-making, but he looked to be forcing the ball down the field more than what was required. Perhaps it had to do with facing the 32nd-ranked pass defense. In the third quarter, Prescott was back to being Prescott. He completed all nine of his passes for 137 yards.

Promising trend: At some point, the Prescott-to-Cooper combination will be recognized as one of the league's best. In 12 regular-season games together, they have combined for 10 touchdowns, including 5- and 19-yard scores Sunday. Cooper is the first Cowboys' receiver with a touchdown in the first three games of the season since Drew Pearson in 1982. With Michael Gallup missing his first game because of knee surgery, Cooper finished with six catches for 88 yards against the Dolphins, and it could have been more if not for a drop on a deep ball down the seam in the first half.