There were plenty of heroes in the Dallas Cowboys shocking upset of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys came in as an underwhelming unit that seemed to be on their way out of the 2018 season. Going on the road, where they have been awful, no one really gave the Cowboys much of a chance. We forgot one thing, this is the NFL, where it seems anything can happen any week. So when you overcome those odds, there have to be heroes.
Dak Prescott looked as sharp as he has for most of the year, finishing with a very efficient stat line and guiding the team to 27 points. 270 yards passing, no turnovers and a 102 rating. Very nice. On defense, Leighton Vander Esch was a monster. 13 tackles, an interception and one possible game-saving play when he brought down a receiver on a screen pass to prevent a first down. The Cowboys struck gold with that draft pick.
We also have to give credit to Jason Garrett/Scott Linehan. The play-calling was definitely a little more creative, with wide receiver screens, options, and some other misdirection along the way. Garrett was bold going for a fourth down and faking a punt. The coaches got the job done.
In the end though, one guy simply dominated the game. That guy was Ezekiel Elliott. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Zeke take over a game like he did on Sunday night. Elliott had 19 carries for 151 yards, and one touchdown. That’s a 7.9 average against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. It was said before the game that the Cowboys probably wouldn’t be able to run the ball consistently and would need to attack the injured Eagles secondary exclusively. That turned out to be a myth.
If Zeke could have kept his balance on a run where he fully hurdled a defender and scored the touchdown, he would have had a signature highlight for his career. Unfortunately, the turf monster got him where the Philly defense couldn’t. Zeke also contributed in the passing game. He caught six passes on seven targets for 36 yards and a touchdown. That adds up to 187 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
We should take a quick moment to applaud the play of the offensive line. They were responsible for opening the holes, and they had to do it with a new left guard and a hobbled Zack Martin. Maybe going back to their old techniques has finally started to take hold again after the firing of Paul Alexander.
It was a team effort, but Elliott really stood out. He was physical, he was relentless and he ground the Philly defense into dust. There were plenty of guys who deserved credit on Sunday night, none more than Zeke.