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Five winners, five losers, and a whole lot in between from the second Cowboys win of the season

We had winners, and we had losers.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys won a football game for the second time this season on Sunday. It was glorious.

It had been a long time since we had to watch Dallas grind one out and go win the game, but that’s exactly what happened. Dak Prescott found Ezekiel Elliott to set things up, and Brett Maher drilled it home.

Who won (besides the Cowboys)? Who lost (besides the Eagles)? What else?

Welcome to BTB’s five winners, five losers, and whatever else happens. It’s a party.

Winner: The art of surprise

This was a home game for the Dallas Cowboys which meant that the visiting team, the Detroit Lions, got to call what side of the coin they wanted for the toss. As fate would have it, the Lions lost.

Ever since George Washington held office as president, the Cowboys have chosen to take the ball when they win the toss. In the upset of the century, Dallas chose to defer and play defense first.

Neither of their first possessions in each half yielded any points, but it’s the principle that matters. Hopefully we get more of this moving forward.

Winner: Leighton Vander Esch and the fact that the Cowboys drafted him

You could make a legitimate argument that rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was the best player on the Cowboys through the first half of Sunday’s win. Other players would step up, but LVE helped limit how much the Lions were able to run the ball.

Vander Esch did more than stop the run. He mitigated the fact that the Cowboys did not have Sean Lee on the field, and that’s something that hasn’t been able to have been said in quite some time. He was huge.

There’s no doubt that LVE’s presence in the middle of the defense kept momentum up. Many doubted this pick when the Cowboys made it in the very stadium that Vander Esch played in, but it paid dividends against the Lions.

Winner: Ezekiel Elliott screen passes + Ezekiel Elliott deep bomb

Putting the ball in Ezekiel Elliott’s hands is a very good idea. See?

Zeke did more than score this touchdown. Dak Prescott found him near the end of the game for a 34-yard gain that helped put the Cowboys in field goal range where they’d win the game. Feeding Zeke is always smart.

Elliott was actually so fantastic against Detroit that he accumulated 240 total yards, a new career high. Is it a coincidence that the Cowboys also won? Not at all, my friends.

Winner: DeMarcus Lawrence’s bank account in the foreseeable future

Tank deserves a tank. Seriously. Hey Jerry, listen, here’s what you need to do.

  • Buy an actual tank
  • Fill the literal tank with money
  • Drive the tank towards AT&T Stadium (not over it, be careful)
  • Give the tank to Tank
  • Watch him open it and let the money spill out like an avalanche

Pay that man his money. Three sacks in a game the Cowboys needed is unreal.

Winner: The move to Brett Maher

Dallas took a lot of heat when they went with Brett Maher over the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Dan Bailey. It was a puzzling move that still has yet to be fully explained, but when Maher is making four field goals including the game-winner it’s hard to need one.

Maher missed his first ever kick when the Cowboys opened the season in Carolina, but since then he’s a perfect eight for eight... and he’s already won a game. That’s insane.

Three cheers, actually four for all of his kicks, for Maher!

Loser: The Jourdan Lewis truthers

There are many Cowboys fans who have been clamoring for cornerback Jourdan Lewis to get on the field this season. Lewis showed a lot of promise his rookie season and has been relegated mostly to the bench through the season’s first quarter.

Lewis did get in the game early, and Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate was quite happy about it. He beat him pretty good on the play.

Not a great way to get back on the field.

Loser: The ability to fully end a drive, sometimes

The Cowboys put together an amazing drive near the end of the fourth quarter, in fact they consumed over half of the period on it. They were only able to squeak out three points, unfortunately.

Had the Cowboys lost, this would have been where they did it. Detroit was able to go down and score an answering touchdown rather quickly, giving them a one-point lead. Thankfully the Cowboys rallied and got Brett Maher into range, but this is still an issue.

Dallas appears to lack the ability to fully end a game, that’s what a touchdown would have done right there. They need to find that gear within themselves because they won’t always be able to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat like that.

Loser: Anxiousness when it comes to challenges

Jason Garrett won his first challenge of the season early on in this game, but he got a little happy with the whole process of it all and challenged for a second time shortly after.

Had Garrett won the second challenge like he did the first it really wouldn’t have mattered as the Cowboys would have netted a bonus third, but that wasn’t the case. Jason Garrett lost his second challenge on a catch that, sure, was up for debate, but you have to sense the variables in moments like this.

This is said in total truth and zero jest, challenging a catch in the NFL is a very difficult thing to do these days. The rules are so finicky and you never know when it’s going to go your way. You can’t gamble away your final challenge midway through the second quarter because you’re left without one for the entire second half.

Loser: Dak Prescott’s 200-yard-less streak

Dak Prescott threw for over 200 yards for the first time this season. This is unfortunately true.

200 yards aren’t the end-all-be-all, but they are indicative of an offense moving and grooving. That Dak was unable to hit that mark certainly served as a microcosm for how the Cowboys offense had been performing as of late.

Prescott didn’t break any single game records or anything, but he made the throws that mattered. This game showed improvement and promise that things can turn a corner. This is big for a young quarterback and for an offense that needed a serious jolt.

Loser: The Philadelphia Eagles

They lost to the Titans, man. The Titans!

Enjoy the second victory of the season, it was well-earned. The last week has been a bit rough with the Cowboys as things seemed to hit a lower low than they had in quite some time. That won’t be the case this week as the Cowboys are winners once again.

Onto Houston.

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