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Cowboys News: 'Boys Cruise Past Lions On Monday To Tie Franchise Record

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The Dallas Cowboys improved to 13-2 with last night's win over the Detroit Lions, equaling the franchise record for most wins in a season.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Touchdown Pass To Witten Highlights Career Outing For Dez Bryant-David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant remembered vividly how he felt when the play call came in for a wide receiver pass, but it isn’t exactly fit for print.

"I was really nervous," Bryant said. "Now, when we executed the play, I was like ‘Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.’ I hit ‘em with the Steph Curry – I threw the ball, I kind of looked and I turned around because I knew it was completed."

A Tale Of Two Halves For The Cowboys Defense In Win Over Lions - Dave Halprin-Blogging The Boys
It didn’t look good at the start, but the Cowboys defense got itself together.

At that point, you would not have been crazy to think maybe the good play by the Cowboys defense, especially over the past month, was just a mirage. They had given up 21 points in a half when they average only 18 points allowed in a game. This certainly wasn’t the way they wanted to go into the playoffs. Then everything changed. Whatever happened in the Cowboys locker room at halftime was the tonic they needed.

Dak Prescott's superstar traits make him Dallas Cowboys most valuable weapon 2016 NFL playoffs-Ian O'Connor-ESPN
After Monday night's rout of Detroit, it looks like no team in the NFC is capable of stopping Dallas in the postseason. And none of this would be possible without rookie QB Dak Prescott's poise.

This was America's Team living the American dream at the Detroit Lions' expense. And it sure looks like nobody in the NFC -- not even a white-hot Aaron Rodgers -- is capable of stopping Dallas in the postseason. And with too many people obsessing over the state of Tony Romo's crumbling body and whether owner Jerry Jones needs to get him ready for who knows what, it was a fine time to remember that none of this would be possible without Dak Prescott's poise.

Fun-loving Cowboys flex their muscles in 42-21 win over Lions -Clarence E. Hill Jr.- The Star-Telegram
Dak Prescott throws three touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott scores twice as the Dallas Cowboys, their No. 1 playoff seed sealed, rout the Detroit Lions 42-21. Prescott played the entire game, and Dez Bryant had a huge night, throwing his first pass, and for a touchdown.

"There’s just one way to play, one way to practice. You can’t put different meaning on different competition," Garrett said. "That’s not how we operate. And the key to playing like that is working hard in practice. If you prepare the right way, you are ready and you feel good. These guys love playing football. They play with the right kind of spirit and they enjoy playing the game."

Steve Young on Cowboys' Dak Prescott: 'It's impossible!' -Barry Horn- SportsDay
Steve Young, the Super Bowl-winning 49ers' quarterback, is amazed by Dak Prescott.

"I've been around pro football for over 30 years ... I'm used to excellence, used to seeing the best. There's a couple of times you see something defying your eyes ... I got to say from watching Dak Prescott today, it defies my eyes that a rookie can do this. Rookies can't do this. It's impossible."

Eatman: Even With Everything Clinched, Cowboys Send Message To Rest of NFL-Nick Eatman- Dallas Cowboys
Mathematically, there was nothing for the Cowboys to accomplish Monday night in terms of the NFL standings.

Say what you want about this game being meaningless. As it turned out, the Cowboys sent a rather clear message to the rest of the league: This is without a doubt the team to beat in the NFL. And AT&T Stadium is where you must win to knock them off.

Cowboys Are Anything But Complacent, Blasting Lions (Final Score) 42-21 To Move To 13-2 -Tom Ryle- Blogging The Boys
Dak Prescott played the entire game and had what may have been his best performance of the season.

One story that was very fascinating to watch was how the Cowboys repeatedly used the 3-2-dime package, as Jon Gruden called it on the broadcast. With six defensive backs, Marinelli still found ways to use blitzing linebackers to bring pressure, and sometimes the three linemen managed to do so on their own. It led directly to the Wilcox interception, and Stafford nearly threw another one in the third quarter as Sean Lee put him under duress. And things were effectively ended by Irving’s strip-sack of Stafford in the red zone with 4:51 left before the end of the game.

Cowboys' offense finds its groove in beatdown of Lions-Todd Archer-ESPN
The Cowboys showed off their diversity and efficiency on offense, picking apart the Lions with another impressive performance.

What makes the Cowboys difficult to defend is their multiplicity. If defenses want to stack the line, Prescott can beat a defense deep or with a midrange game. If defenses want to play coverage, the line can dominate with Elliott, the league’s leading rusher.

Cowboys rookies Prescott, Elliott combine for 5 TDs in win over Lions -Dwain Price- The Star-Telegram
Ezekiel Elliott is 178 yards from breaking Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record, while Dak Prescott turned in another impressive performance.

"I think the biggest thing is just his understanding on what we’re trying to do and what the defense is trying to do to him in his decision-making," Garrett said. "He’s throwing in the right place for the most part."

Grading the Cowboys: There's no NFC team Dallas can't handle when these two things happen - Bob Sturm - SportsDay
Bob Sturm hands out his grades for a shockingly good Dallas Cowboys performance.

Tonight was a difficult task for a team that had little to play for while the opponent had every reason to compete at its highest level. For the Cowboys to roll out one of their more dominating efforts in the final three quarters in this situation was a real message for the league and a confidence builder for the young core. The health of Tyron Smith (right knee) is a massive concern, but now the Cowboys have three full weeks to rest and recuperate as they should not feel compelled to show any of their important pieces next week in Philadelphia. It was a most impressive performance.