The calmness of Cowboys coach Paul Green to overcome the plethora of obstacles the Cowboys have faced this season is only now starting to take effect on his side according to utility Coen Hess.
"He (Paul Green) kept us calm during the year and made us understand it's not the end all (losing players to injury)," Hess said.
"He had faith in us and now we're starting to realise that and playing to our full potential."
Despite losing inspirational captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, the game plan hasn't altered for the Cowboys says Hess.
"The game plan hasn't changed as much, without them two players there (JT and Scott), guys like Michael Morgan, Jake Granville and even Scott Bolton have taken over the reigns and led us around the park but it comes back down to everyone and really everyone has evolved their game," he said.
On a personal level, Hess is still pinching himself for the season he's having so far after making his Origin debut earlier this year.
"I haven't had the opportunity to really sit down and reflect on it," Hess said.
"I've been fortunate for some accomplishments I've made and it's all sort of really come really quickly but I'm trying to take everything in my stride and make the most of every opportunity I get."
However, Hess is facing a race against the clock to be fit for next week's Grand Final Qualifier against the Roosters after injuring his knee in the Cowboys win against the Eels.