The Dallas Cowboys won on Sunday. Life is good again.
Dak Prescott looked fantastic and the Cowboys defense struggled in the 313, but when you win that’s ultimately what matters; things are now looking somewhat promising again for America’s Team.
Who were the brightest performers in the Motor City? Who had games that aren’t worth remembering? We’ve got winners, losers, and everything in between.
Winner: Tony Pollard
They did it. They finally did it. The Dallas Cowboys used Tony Pollard in a way that made sense.
The drive that ended with his touchdown had a lot of Pollard in it. He was utilized in the run game obviously, but the Cowboys also got him involved in the air as well. Earlier in the game he had a little pitch on a sweep play, his skillset is too much to be denied every week.
Winner: Jason Garrett in hindsight regarding Tavon Austin on punts
The past week was not a good one for Jason Garrett. He took it from a lot of places and people in terms of how he finished last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. He brought it on himself, but we saw that he may have only deserved 99% of it.
Tavon Austin looked BAD on punt returns against the Lions. It called into question the takes that Austin would have housed the punt that he fair caught against the Vikings, he was quite poor on special teams in general. At least he saved a Dak Prescott interception early on in the fourth.
Winner: Michael Gallup
Sunday was a day in which Amari Cooper dealt with injury (hopefully he’s alright). Thankfully the Cowboys were able to get some stud performances from their other wide receivers. Michael Gallup is one of those guys!
This catch was unreal.
Winner: Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb has had 100 yards receiving in two straight games for the first time since 2014. That’s pretty good!
It’s one thing to get production from Gallup with Cooper out, it’s a whole different thing to also get it from Cobb. He was marvelous throughout the game on Sunday and was a big reason why the Cowboys won.
Winner: Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott had over 400 yards and threw three touchdowns. He’s elite.
Dak Prescott is only good because of Zeke and his offensive line pic.twitter.com/zZA8sHCq9w— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) November 17, 2019
He’s still behind quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson in the overall race, but Dak is in the MVP conversation right now. No question about it.
Loser: Fast starts
The Cowboys got the ball to start the game. Ezekiel Elliott fumbled it on the second play. Not great!
Dallas was lucky to be able to bounce back from their slow start, they allowed a Detroit touchdown on their first possession of the game, but that likely won’t be able to happen against higher-quality opponents. The slow start talk will continue this week and for good reason.
Loser: The idea that icing the game can only be through the run
With an eight-point lead late in the game the Cowboys faced a situation where they are well-known for running the ball to try and ice the game.
Instead, the Cowboys chose to go to the air by way of play-action. This is something that many people around here have begged for, and it was effective. Dallas picked up a first down and was able to take some knees to end the game.
Being aggressive is good. It comes with risk, but being aggressive can often lead to big wins. That’s a very good thing.
Loser: The defensive line
Jeff Driskel had all day to do whatever he wanted for most of the game, that’s never an ideal situation. Thankfully the Cowboys defensive line showed up when it seemed to matter most, right at the end of the game.
The Cowboys were lucky to get by the Driskel-led Lions, but they won’t face such lowly competition from here on out. They need to find ways to generate more pressure much more consistently. Fast.
Loser: Staying healthy
One of the biggest things to come out of this game was that La’el Collins was hurt again. Amari Cooper also dealt with injury as mentioned, it’s that time of year.
The Cowboys are now at their annual point in the season where they will have two games in a span of five whole days. They’ll visit the New England Patriots next Sunday and then host the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day.
Thankfully both of those games are against AFC teams, but Dallas is at the point where they need any win they can get. They’re going to have to try and stay as healthy as they can and that’ll be tough.
Loser: Defense in general
Ultimately the Cowboys got another amazing performance from Dak Prescott and still only won by eight. That’s not how you want things to go.
The defense was supposed to be part of the Cowboys’ identity this season but it has mostly limited them. Prescott is having to lift the other side of the ball and put up 35 points just to have a chance.
Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard have to get things in gear fast. The good news is that of their next three games, there are two struggling offenses in the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears. The bad news is that the other team is the Patriots.