It's been a while since the Dallas Cowboys were a legit force in the NFL. Albeit one of the most popular teams in the world, they've been far from a Super Bowl contender. That may have finally changed.

Mike McCarthy's team has looked pretty solid through the first three weeks of the season. They put the reigning champions against the wall and barely beat them, then won vs. the Chargers and destroyed a divisional foe in the Eagles.

But, besides the schedule and the results, it's the way they're playing that encourages fans and the media alike. And, according to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, there's just one way you could take them down right now.

Troy Aikman Explains What Makes The Cowboys A Legit Threat This Season

(Transcript via USA Today)

“If you’re an inferior team–and I think a lot of teams who are going to come and play Dallas are going to be inferior to them–then the best way in order to get into the fourth quarter with a chance to win, which is all you’re hoping for, you want to minimize the offensive snaps,” Aikman said.

“The more snaps they have, the better chance they have of blowing you out and scoring points. To do that, you have to shorten the game. You try to shorten the game by controlling the clock on your side of the ball, but also not giving up big plays."

"So I would play coverage. I would try to keep them from making big plays in the passing game and then make them just commit through the game of running the ball. Can you stop them? You get them to third down and you make a play, a dropped pass, a DB makes a play, then they’re punting. That’s the way that I would do it. I would not come up and try to stop the run and be over-committed to that and Ezekiel Elliott and [Tony] Pollard–and I like what he’s done too–and then allow CeeDee Lamb and the rest of them to run through your secondary. I think that’s a recipe for getting blown out.”

Aikman is completely right. The Cowboys finally understood that they need to keep their defense off the field as often as possible. They've found balance in the offense and drain the clock with their long, yet efficient series. Maybe, they're for real this time.