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Cowboys news: Praise for the Cowboys’ best game of the season

The Cowboys news is noticeably brighter this week.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Winners and Losers of NFL Week 7 - Rodger Sherman, The Ringer
Brett Maher’s long-distance feats are getting notice throughout the league.

Last week, Maher drilled a 62-yarder. Last year, Maher hit another 62-yarder. There have been 22 field goals of 60 yards or longer in NFL history. Maher has three of them, more than anybody else in league history. Only Sebastian Janikowski and Greg Zuerlein have even made two, and Janikowski was 2-for-9 on attempts of over 60 yards and Zuerlein is 2-for-5. (We all remember Janikowski’s 76-yard attempt.) According to Pro-Football-Reference’s Field Goal Finder, kickers besides Maher are 19-for-141 all time on kicks from over 60 yards. (They’re a much better 15-for-81 since 2000.)

Maher is 3-for-3. He’s also made a 59-yarder, and is 9-for-12 on kicks of longer than 50 yards. There was no evidence he had this in him earlier in his career. His career long in the CFL was 58 yards, and his career long at Nebraska was 54.

Cowboys make a determined stand against the rival that brings out their best – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
The Sturminator weighs in with his thoughts on the Cowboys’ big win.

And that is when we saw the distinct advantage the Cowboys have enjoyed over Philadelphia since the Amari Cooper trade. If there is a significant reason why they are now 3-0 against the Eagles in these situations, it all seems triggered from that trade. The ripple effect is what caused the Eagles to frantically offer Jacksonville a first- and second-round pick for Jalen Ramsey last week (according to numerous reports), only to be outbid by the Rams. They know they can’t cover receivers like Cooper, and the 398 yards in three games that he has racked up against whoever Philadelphia puts out there against him simply pound the point home. His masterful work last night as the game went from bad to worse for the Eagles will surely prompt Philadelphia to trade for a lesser version of Ramsey before the deadline. They have tried to address this issues internally and through the waiver wire, and the margin is not close.

This, of course, has allowed Prescott to gain effectiveness and to confidently throw darts on 3rd down, not only only to Cooper but various other targets who have advantages because of the threat No. 19 poses. Prescott repeatedly torched Jim Schwartz blitz calls that seemed reckless, given that they served only to isolate his poor corners even more. In the last three games against Schwartz’ third down packages, Prescott is now 25 for 33 with 267 passing yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions with 21 different first-down conversions. In other words, Schwartz cannot get off the field, and in these situations it is not about Ezekiel Elliott and the running game. Schwartz and his blitz looks do not trouble Prescott at all. He throws simple slant routes to his targets; they win, and either move the chains or spike the football in the end zone. The repetition of it all must be lost on the Eagles DC because he keeps dialing up the same doomed plan.

DeMarcus Lawrence is ‘not just a s***-talker, he backs it up’; 5 key plays in Cowboys’ dominant win – Jon Machota, The Athletic
There were many big plays Sunday night; The Athletic’s Jon Machota picks five.

5.) Fourth-and-1. Prescott had just been stopped on a QB-keeper up the middle on 3rd-and-1 the play before. With the Cowboys holding a 14-7 lead and 11:15 left in the second quarter, Jason Garrett decided to have Dallas go for it from its own 49. Prescott lined up under center and showed handoff to Elliott, who was alone in the backfield. Elliott broke out to his right on what appeared to be a stretch run play, but Prescott kept the ball. With Eagles safety Rodney McLeod quickly closing in, Prescott dumped off a short pass to Elliott, who ended up gaining nine yards on the play. Six plays later, the Cowboys were up 21-7.

“We just needed to do that,” Jason Garrett said of his decision to go for it on fourth down. “We needed to stay aggressive and convert that, continue to have confidence in our guys. And our guys did a great job backing us up, making the plays and continuing down to allow us to score points to go ahead by a couple of scores.”

“I love that play call, and we executed it the right way,” Prescott said. “We have a coach that is aggressive. We have a coach that believes in our offense and believes in the guys that he has. We were in the situation last weekend, and we did the same thing. So, it’s just kind of who we are. We’re a team that believes in themselves.”

How “Complementary Football” Ended The Slide - Rob Phillips,
Dallas won all three phases of the game against the Eagles.

Sunday night’s 37-10 win over the Eagles featured a few firsts for the Cowboys’ offense:

First time starting a drive inside opposing territory. First opening-drive touchdown of the season. Highest point total in a half (27). Season high in points (37).

All aided greatly by a dominant defensive effort.

The Cowboys’ defense tallied a season-high four takeaways – its highest single-game total since 2013 – that led to 21 points, including a 14-0 first-quarter lead in only eight plays.

“You’ve got to give all the credit to the defense,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “Those guys definitely set the tone in the first quarter and that set the tone for the rest of the game.”

What A Difference Striking First Makes - Nick Eatman,
Employing the “score early, score often” strategy seemed to work out well for the Cowboys.

We saw what having Cooper on the outside can do to the passing game. He makes great plays on the ball and knows how to stretch the field to open up the running game.

We saw Ezekiel Elliott run with even more determination than before, bulldozing his way to 147 all-purpose yards.

We saw Dak Prescott play a very sound, efficient game where he did just about everything right, except for a “greedy” interception in the fourth quarter when he forced the ball deep to Tavon Austin.

The Dallas Cowboys are back atop the NFC East because they returned to the template that has proven so successful - David Moore,

The Cowboys were on the attack early.

Three points. That was the Cowboys’ largest lead entering Sunday night’s game since they beat woeful Miami in Week 3. That margin came in the first quarter of the loss to the Saints.

Dallas was up 14-0 on this night before the Eagles could blink.

“It’s all about starting fast,” said quarterback Dak Prescott, who threw for one touchdown, ran for another and outdueled Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz again. “That has been our struggle all season long.”

Dak Prescott led Cowboys in an incredible performance vs. Eagles, but Dallas offense is out of excuses for rest of season - Kevin Sherrington,
The DallasNews writer wonders where this offensive outburst was the last few weeks.

Don’t tell us scores and starts dictate the level of creativity.

On Sunday, anyway, Dak ran, Zeke Elliott danced and Kellen Moore called a zone read pitch that would have made Darrell Royal weep. And that was just on the first drive.

On the way to 27 first-half points, more than they’ve scored before the half in a month, Moore sent so many people left at the goal line that JerryWorld tilted portside.

But instead of the quarterback following the herd into a wall like he did last week in a mind-boggling loss to the Jets, Dak bootlegged and threw to Blake Jarwin, doing his best impression of the Aggies’ 12th man.

Life doesn’t always have to be hard.

Neither does football.

Let's overreact to Week 7 in the NFL - The Bears will miss the playoffs - Dan Graziano,
Graziano’s “overreaction Monday” piece asks if the Cowboys’ victory has assured the team of back-to-back division titles? His verdict? An overreaction.

OVERREACTION. Everything's an overreaction with the Cowboys. A month ago it was, "Jerry cost himself money by waiting to sign Dak." A week ago it was, "Dak's costing himself money with his recent play" and "Jason Garrett needs to be fired." This is just the way it is around the Cowboys, all the time.

But as fun as it might be to ride the hot-take roller coaster, the reality is that the Cowboys are a pretty good team and a legit NFC contender that, like most of them, has some things still to figure out. And right now, yes, the numbers will tell you they have the best chance to win the NFC East of anyone. But to say it's a done deal is to ignore a great many things. Recent history, for example.

The Cowboys were 3-5 after eight games last season and still won the division. Less-recent history, too: No team has won the NFC East in back-to-back years since the 2003-04 Eagles. Philly's schedule looks a little bit easier the rest of the way -- it has both Giants games left, gets to play Miami, its Patriots game is at home while the Cowboys have to go to Foxborough, and the Week 16 rematch of Sunday's game will be in Philadelphia.

‘Sunday Night Football’ Ratings Surge With Cowboys’ Big Win Over Eagles – Dominic Patten, Dino-Ray Ramos, Deadline
From the “no duh” department, your Cowboys continue to draw the biggest ratings. Still American’s team, apparently.

They don’t call then America’s Team for nothing. Proving again that if you put the Dallas Cowboys on the field for a Big 4 broadcast game you will get big results, the NFL and NBC scored a viewership touchdown last night on Sunday Night Football.

Pulling in 21.5 million viewers on the Comcast-owned net, the Cowboys’ 37-10 blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles is the second best SNF audience result this season. The most watched SNF so far was the 24.1 million who tuned in for the New Orleans Saints-Cowboys game September 30 that saw Dallas’ unbeaten streak snapped.

That Cowboys-Saints game actually ended up with a total viewership of 24.7 million over linear TV and digital platforms to become the most watched Week 4 airing of NBC’s flagship NFL show ever. When you pull all the other NBC and NFL digital platforms together, this week’s SNF had a total audience of 22 million – the best any Week 7 SNF has done since 2015.

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