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Tweetcap: Dak Prescott breaks five-game passing slump in 26-24 win over Lions

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott ignited the Cowboys offense, putting up 400+ yards in 26-24 win over Detroit.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was asked about the passing game woes that have plagued the first month of the season. His words: Just start slinging it around.

Excuse me, coach? You want one of the league’s weakest passing offenses to sling it around on the Lions first-ranked pass defense? That’s a bold strategy... let’s see how that plays out.

Cowboys Nation stands corrected. More importantly, Dak Prescott has finally busted the five-game slump of sub-200-yard passing games. Before this Lions game, Dak’s last 200-yard passing day was week 14 last season in a 20-17 win over the Raiders. That game wasn’t great for him either, Dak went 18 for 27, 212-yards, no TD’s, two interceptions, and a 59.5 passer rating. Dak picked one heck of a defense to have his big day against as the Lions were only allowing 152 passing yards per game. On top of that, it was Dak’s first 100+ passer rating posting since week 13 of last season.

The Cowboys would have a lot of “firsts” during this game but it started with the “first” time in seemingly forever that they deferred after winning the coin toss. The defense was able to get off the field but much like we’ve seen all year, the Cowboys were a little fuzzy to start. You have to convert 3rd and 1’s against the Lions worst-ranked run defense:

On their next drive, how about no run at all, how about a little play-action passing to Geoff Swaim for 31-yards? Hello play-action, we’ve missed you.

In fact, after not attempting a single deep throw last week, how about one to rookie Michael Gallup?! It’s unfortunate that it couldn’t end in six:

Of course, the Cowboys defense picked this game against a prolific passer like Matthew Stafford to have mental breakdowns in coverage. Jourdan Lewis gets worked and Jeff Heath forgot how to tackle:

The Cowboys running game with Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith get the Cowboys to the Lions 34. On 2nd and 1, Tavon Austin can’t haul in a beautiful deep ball from Prescott, Darius Slay with the coverage:

Dallas has to settle for another 43-yard field goal that Brett Maher nails to cut the lead to one point. Cowboys defense playing tough and drew a facemask penalty off a Lions offensive lineman. On 2nd and 22 from their own 13, Stafford just started showing off that arm talent, starting with a 34-yard completion to Marvin Jones:

A few plays later, they send their return-man Jamal Agnew on the jet-sweep to get into the red zone:

Thankfully, the Cowboys defense kept the damage to a field goal, Lions lead is 10-6 and the Cowboys get a shot before the half:

The Lions had bigger problems though because they awakened the Tank! DeMarcus Lawrence was not having any TD’s on this drive. We’ll come back to this later:

This is when Ezekiel Elliott took matters into his own hands, determined to get something before the half:

Cole Beasley sauces the Lions for 12-yards on the next play:

You know what’s next, there goes that man again, Ezekiel Elliott telling Dak: “I got you, man.”

Yes folks, that’s Joe Looney on the block!

Cowboys take the lead 13-10 before the half! This just had that feeling of scoring too soon because Stafford was unstoppable for the most part. Remember DeMarcus Lawrence? He’s the guy that strip-sacked you as a rookie in that playoff win. The two were reunited:

Dak-Watch: Not quite there yet, sir.

Cowboys kneel down and get the ball back to start the third quarter. Cowboys offense gets a ton of help from the Lions defense for three holding calls that get them inside the Detroit-40.

Thanks for the jynx, dudes! Right on cue, the Cowboys started making some mistakes of their own...tisk, tisk boys! Illegal block by Elliott puts them back at the Detroit 36.

A couple of plays later, Prescott walks right into a sack that puts Cowboys out of field goal range. Not ideal from the quarterback:

Cowboys pin the Lions deep and Tank Lawrence keeps them there, sacking Stafford for the second time:

Cowboys get the ball at their own 36 and this time, Zeke is still hungry:


A couple of plays later on 3rd and 10, Cole Beasley gets nine to the Lions 3 and Cowboys have a decision to make on 4th and 1:

Elliott tries to punch it in, fumbles, it’s recovered by Blake Jarwin in the end zone for the TD! advancing the ball forward on the fumble, Cowboys first and goal? What to do when Lions send the hounds? Throw it over the defense to the tight end? Touchdown, Geoff Swaim!

Dak-Watch: Still not there, young man!

Matthew Stafford wasn’t done by any stretch and cut that lead down in a matter of seven plays and three-and-a-half minutes, major help from two 20+yard completions to Kenny Golladay like this one on 2nd and long:

The Lions made it look easy here with the run by Kerryon Johnson and it’s now only a three point lead for the home team:

The Cowboys next drive was puzzling as it starts at their own 11-yard line thanks to a blocking penalty by Damien Wilson. Well, the Lions just don’t seem interested at all in stopping the run, do they?

That’s the not the only thing that happened...a few passes later, Dak Prescott finally broke 200 passing yards against the league’s best pass defense:

With first and goal from the Lions 6, Scott Linehan had an interesting set of calls that didn’t include a single run for Elliott.

A 16-play drive ends without a touchdown against a team who’s quarterback was having his way with your secondary. Cowboys needed seven but settled for three:

I don’t know if this is true, he must have not watched the whole game:

Stafford is back on the field with plenty of time but first must have another meeting with the Tank, his third of the night!

Three plays later, Stafford makes the Cowboys pay for kicking that field goal. Guess who? Cowboys’ nemesis Golden Tate again! Anthony Brown got burned badly...

After the past three weeks, did you ever think you would say this?

After a seven-yard completion to Swaim, the opportunity was almost blown. Dak gets stripped but pulls a Tony Romo and picks it up and tosses it away to preserve the drive:

On 3rd and 3, Allen Hurns gets nine and keeps hope alive:

On 2nd and 10, Ezekiel Elliott asked Dak to let him be his WR1 and it’s a backbreaker for the Detroit Lions:

And with that...Brett Maher does the honors, boots a 32-yarder and the Cowboys beat the Lions 26-24!

Though the Cowboys made a few mistakes here and there especially in the secondary, the only thing that matters is the win. Dallas improved to 41% on 3rd down and had 400+ yards of offense dominated by their two stars. The Cowboys offense had nine possessions, six of them ended in points, only two punts and one kneel down at the half, not bad at all for this team.

That’s a wrap!!! Cowboys offense found themselves but now it’s time to build on that!

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