The Cowboys also appear to have the right mix of veterans performing the way they should — Stewart ended the night with 176 all-purpose yards while Daytawion Lowe and Caleb Lavey tallied eight and six tackles, respectively — and younger players continue to step up, such as receivers Marcell Ateman and Jhjauan Seales combining for six catches for 68 yards Saturday night.
Meanwhile, several other teams that looked capable of challenging for the Big 12 title have already slipped up.
TCU lost at Texas Tech Thursday night and has lost starting quarterback Casey Pachall to a broken arm. Texas fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after a disastrous performance against BYU last Saturday and then fell to Mississippi Saturday.
KansasState lost to North DakotaState to open the season, while Baylor’s a soft nonconference schedule of Buffalo and Wofford so far has kept the Bears largely a mystery. Oklahoma put together its best performance of the season against Tulsa and may have found its real quarterback in Blake Bell, while Texas Tech’s win over TCU may propel it into contender status.
So now the Cowboys get a week off before entering the meat of their schedule, beginning Sept. 28 at West Virginia. Gundy wants to see his team get healthy — Justin Gilbert went down with an injury during the game and the offensive line has been banged up in the early season — along with focus on tackling well in the open field and taking care of the football.
Gundy may not yet be sure how good his squad is. But compared to the rest of the league, so far, so good.
“I’ve said this before, their responsibility is to work hard and prepare Sunday through Thursday,” Gundy said. “They’ve done that. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do in that area. I think that’s more important that anything else and that they give us everything they’ve got.”