Hot take here, but days after Cowboys wins are significantly better than after losses.
The Cowboys pulled off an impressive 28-17 win in the desert (just trying to be straight up with you guys I originally had “dessert” - that’s always plagued me) over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Any Cowboys game typically brings with it an enormous amount of headlines. We’re here to predict 10 that you’ll
maybe not definitely see throughout the rest of the week. Shall we?
“DeMarcus Lawerence is the new DeMarcus Ware”
Tank Lawrence probably just sacked Carson Palmer again. He was literally so dominant against the Cardinals that if you told me that with a straight face, I would have legitimate reason to believe you.
Jerry Jones is firmly on record for wanting a “war daddy” along his defensive line. Many have thought about bringing him in via free agency, drafting someone, but very few anticipated that this role could be adequately fulfilled by Lawrence.
There’s no denying how impressive Tank has been, but some people need to pump the brakes just a whole heck of a lot. D-Law obviously shares a name with another legendary pass rusher, which lends itself subject to stuff like this.
DEMARCUS WARE?? OR DEMARCUS LAWRENCE??? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?— Cameron Magruder (@ScooterMagruder) September 26, 2017
DeMarcus Lawrence is awesome. He’s not DeMarcus Ware.
“Jourdan Lewis is the best rookie on the Dallas Cowboys”
Dallas may have tried to acquire a potential future war daddy with their first-round pick in Taco Charlton, but it’s one of their later picks from the same school that’s really doing well.
Jourdan Lewis completely and totally balled against the Arizona Cardinals. This is an effort that’s always needed, but it was especially on Monday given the absences of Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie.
In fact the latter, Lewis’ rookie classmate, is already giving us a peek at the headlines that’ll ripple out this week.
Jourdan finna have the ultimate PFF grade— Chido (@ChidobeAwuzie) September 26, 2017
Madonna said it well, “don’t go for second best, baby.” Jourdan is after this season’s top rookie honors, aka the Dak Prescott award.
“Dak Prescott should run more”
Speaking of Dak Prescott, he literally flew over a bunch of Arizona Cardinals when he scored the first Dallas touchdown of the night. This is ironic because real Cardinals fly. Get the joke, please.
In a stadium that is eloquently referred to as a “nest” that needs protecting by the Arizona players, Dak Prescott ran in and made himself quite at home. Prescott may have only had three carries for 16 yards (plus the touchdown), but they were runs that really opened up the game.
The Cowboys had success when running play action and moving Dak out on bootlegs, which is a weapon that should be harnessed and used more often.
“Dez Bryant is an elite receiver once again”
Average performances against Janoris Jenkins and a combination of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris left Dez Bryant pretty low in the eyes of critics.
“He’s not an elite receiver anymore! He’s not the physical force he once was! He can’t get it done the same way!”
Pretty amazing to look at this photo and know that @DezBryant ends up scoring. That man's will can't be measured. pic.twitter.com/ncE0Zyid3I— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 26, 2017
Dez Bryant literally ran over a handful of Cardinals to get into the endzone.
“The only reason DeMarcus Lawrence dominated was because the Arizona Cardinals have a bad offensive line”
I’ve gone long enough without bringing DeMarcus Lawrence back up.
It’s no secret that the Giants have a terrible offensive line (shout out to Ereck Flowers). The Broncos aren’t exactly built of first-rounders, and the Arizona Cardinals could certainly use help blocking for Carson Palmer.
It’s that final point that’s got people talking now. Apparently DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t on fire right now, he’s just up against easy competition.
I’m a fan of data. Cold, hard, indisputable facts. There’s quite a statistic that lends to not only how consistently dominant Lawrence has been to begin the season, but how extremely rare his performance is.
DeMarcus Lawrence has joined Mark Gastineau and Kevin Greene as only players to register more than 1 sack in each of opening three games.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) September 26, 2017
It’s quite nice having an awesome pass rusher.
“Ezekiel Elliott is back”
With just over five minutes left in the game, Ezekiel Elliott scampered eight yards through Arizona defenders for his first score of the season. And it was amazing.
A lot of people were beginning to doubt Zeke’s abilities as a football player in his sophomore season after the debacle in Denver and the “quitting” narrative rearing its ugly head. This was a much-needed first touchdown of the season.
It felt like the Zeke we saw across his rookie season. It looked like that version. It was glorious, and it feels like things in a football sense are back to normal there.
“Ryan Switzer is going to be an amazing returner”
We’ve had to wait a long time to see Ryan Switzer in a lot of action for the Cowboys, and we finally got close to that point against the Cardinals.
Switzer had four punt returns and one kick return in Arizona. He averaged 10.8 yards per punt return (his lone kick return went 18 yards). This is a big deal.
It’s good enough for sixth in the NFL at the moment, and that’s because Switzer is still getting a feel for exactly how he is going to translate his skills to the NFL level. He’s very clearly got an enormous amount of talent in this phase of the game, and we’re starting to see that grow.
“Jason Garrett always has clock management issues in Arizona”
Look today is all about celebration, so forgive me for reminding you that Jason Garrett iced Dan Bailey in the desert (got it right on the first try there I promise) in 2011.
After the amazing Dak Prescott rushing touchdown last night, the Cowboys kicked off and gave the Cardinals the ball with 1:11 left at their own 25. Dallas had all three timeouts remaining.
DeMarcus Lawrence would sack Carson Palmer on first down (not shocking), it would be wiped away by an illegal contact play penalty on Sean Lee (seriously shocking), Tyrone Crawford would sack Palmer then (perhaps the most shocking), and the Cardinals would complete a pass after that which saw the clock drain out. The Cowboys never called timeout. Why?
It’s fairly conceivable that the Cowboys could have gotten the ball back with an opportunity to go kick a field goal. This seems like a trivial thing to poke at after they won 28-17, but at the time in the game three points would have been huge.
“The Cowboys have an insane amount of talent at wide receiver”
A few of the most impactful offensive plays by receivers throughout the Cowboys win in Arizona were made by Noah Brown and Brice Butler.
Noah’s first NFL reception kept a drive alive that resulted in the aforementioned Dak Prescott rushing touchdown. Brice Butler had two catches for 90 yards. 90!
We’re talking about backup receivers for the Cowboys. They’re making game-changing plays. That’s insane.
“The Cowboys defensive line is going to really take off when David Irving comes back”
Dallas has to play one more game without the services of David Irving, who many would have said not too long ago was their most talented pass rusher.
Irving is undoubtedly special and is going to bring something when he does return. There’s no denying that the Cowboys have talent along the defensive line. They’ve just been unable to put it all together properly on a consecutive basis over the past few seasons. While it feels like that trend might be flipping directions, it’s best to remember that nothing is guaranteed.