The Morning After: Cowboys dominate third straight opponent, prepare for battles ahead – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
The Sturminator puts the Cowboys ho-hum, 25-point victory in perspective.
The big moment of clarity from the defense probably occurred when Jaylon Smith swiped the ball from Kenyan Drake inside the seven-yard line on first-and-goal, ending a chance for the Dolphins to enter halftime with the most unlikely of leads. They had played pretty well to that point; had that drive been punched in, we can only imagine what might have happened next.
Instead, the Cowboys defense got their stop and a takeaway. That, or the halftime chat, turned the game. The domination was thorough from there – just what the disinterested audience wanted at noon. It just took until about 1:45 p.m. to see it play out fully.
In the second half, however, Dallas outscored the Dolphins 21-0. They out-gained them 272-65 in the final 30 minutes. By the afternoon, the Cowboys had another day that graded well on both offense and defense, along with a 25-point victory that appeased even those who predicted they could handle that huge point spread.
Again, impressions were amazingly negative leaving the stadium yesterday for a team that had won 31-6. That shows you how far the Cowboys have raised their bar (and how far the Dolphins have lowered theirs). Could they have been better as a team? Of course. But a lot of great football was hidden by some sloppy details.
Great news for two veteran legend QBs; great starts for a few young QBs; ranking the 3-0 teams – Mike Sando, The Athletic
Sando ranks the Cowboys third among the league’s undefeated, behind New England and Kansas City but ahead of Los Angeles and Green Bay.
Cowboys: The schedule has something to do with it, but Dallas has been dramatically more explosive on offense, already completing 20 passes longer than 15 yards. The total was 68 all last season and 53 the season before.
5 key plays from Cowboys’ win: Dak Prescott overcomes slow start with brilliant third quarter – John Machota, The Athletic
There were lots of Cowboys highlights Sunday, here’s five that stood out.
3.) Robert Quinn’s sack. Third-and-12 from the Miami 34 with 9:53 left in the third quarter. The Cowboys rushed four on the play: Quinn off the right end, DeMarcus Lawrence off the left end, Maliek Collins as the lone defensive tackle and linebacker Jaylon Smith up the middle. Quinn used his speed to quickly get around the outside of left tackle Michael Deiter. With Collins also closing in, Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen had nowhere to go. It was Quinn’s 70th career sack.
From Brissett, to Jones to Minshew: Young QBs Stole the Spotlight in Week 3 - Albert Breer, SI.com
Even the Monday Morning Quarterback can’t ignore the Cowboys.
Sleepy Sunday for the Cowboys, but there was an interesting under-the-radar development in their game. The coaches lightened Jaylon Smith’s snap load a little bit, so they could use him as a down pass-rusher in certain spots. There aren’t many players in the NFL who can toggle between middle linebacker and edge rusher, but Smith it as a collegian, and it should be really interesting to see Dallas resurrect that part of his game, something the Cowboys can do because of the depth Sean Lee and Joe Thomas give them at linebacker.
Daniel Jones Energizes Previously Sleepy Giants With Win – Peter King, ProFootballTalk
Are the Cowboys set to run away with the NFC East? Peter Kings thinks maybe so.
It’s getting late early in the NFC East. The 3-0 Cowboys don’t have many weaknesses, and now they have a two-game lead over the beat-up Eagles and the Giants, and Philadelphia has a short-week game at 3-0 Green Bay on Thursday. Certainly not saying the Cowboys can’t be caught, but I’d feel better about the division race actually being a race if the Eagles weren’t so injured and if Dallas struggled at something.
Trust questions: Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady? Pack or 'Boys? - Adam Schein, NFL.com
Schein wonders which storied NFL power is ascending.
Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys as the storied NFC power rising?
Green Bay was my preseason Super Bowl pick for the NFC. And I told you this Packer defense was going to step up in a major way. After the Pack's 27-16 win over Denver on Sunday, I'm not backing off anything. My Chiefs-Packers Super Bowl pick appears quite feasible here in late September.
But at this exact moment, it's the Cowboys. In an objective power ranking, Dallas has been the best team in the NFL. And I don't want to hear about the competition. The 'Boys are loaded and dominant in every single phase. This team lacks a true weakness. It's the most complete Dallas team since the mid-'90s dynasty outfits.
Spagnola: It’s OK To Get Just What You Need - Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com
The Mothership’s longtime scribe likes what he sees.
This is football. NFL football. It don’t come easy. Rarely does. You have to earn every inch. Earn every win.
But the bottom line is this: A win is a win. No matter if it’s 31-6, by 25 points for those who worry themselves about spreads, or if it had been 10-6.
There are no asterisks next to 3-0. Why 3-0 is 3-0, especially since this is a first for the Cowboys since 2008. This is first place in the NFC East, by no less than two games over the other three members, and tied for first in the NFL with (six) other teams and just three others in the NFC. Why last year at this time the Cowboys were tied for third in the East and didn’t win their third game Game 6.
That’s what you wanted, too, didn’t you, after three games. The Cowboys 3-0 and heading into the teeth of this schedule, having to play the (2-1) Saints in New Orleans next Sunday night, and don’t minimize the difficulty of that task even if Drew Brees won’t be suiting up for this one. Hey, without Brees, the Saints went into Seattle and put 33 on the Seahawks Sunday in their 33-27 victory.
Stacking surprises on the NFL's seven 3-0 teams - Bill Barnwell, ESPN.com
Barnwell, never one to dish superlatives too easily, thinks the Cowboys’ QB is playing at an MVP level.
Is it foolish to put Prescott and the reigning MVP in the same sentence? Before this season, maybe. Through three weeks, though, Prescott has been every bit as good as Mahomes. To go back to that expected completion percentage stat from NFL Next Gen Stats, Prescott's options would have typically generated a 64.6% completion rate. Even after an uneven game against the lowly Dolphins, he has hit on a whopping 74.5% of his attempts. The resulting difference of 9.9 percentage points is the most in football, ahead of Russell Wilson (8.7 percentage points) and Mahomes (5.7 points). And if you think that is related to Prescott throwing shorter passes, the Cowboys signal-caller's average attempt has traveled 9.7 yards in the air, further than that of Mahomes, at 9.2 yards per throw. Prescott's percentage of receivers who are open and/or wide open are both below league average. He's playing like a legitimate superstar.
Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliott give defenses even more to think about - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
Tony Pollard closing out games while Ezekiel Elliott watches from the sidelines? Yeah, that really happened.
Leading the Miami Dolphins, 24-6, with 5:27 to play, it was time for the Dallas Cowboys to let Ezekiel Elliott kill the clock with the running game, like they had done so many times since taking the running back with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
But as the Cowboys went on the field, Elliott remained on the sideline.
In his place was rookie Tony Pollard, the Cowboys' fourth-round pick.
All Pollard did as Elliott watched was run five times for 40 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown with 3:45 to play that finished off the Cowboys' 31-6 win against the Dolphins.
As happy as Pollard was to score his first pro touchdown, Elliott might have been happier.
"It's definitely very helpful, because we're going to be fresh," Elliott said. "When you've got two guys that can roll and that load gets divided in two, it's not me getting 30 to 35 touches a game anymore. We're taking care of it together. That's definitely going to pay off."
3 takeaways from Cowboys-Dolphins, including much-needed juice Dallas now has opposite D-Law - John Owning, DallasNews.com
Owning breaks video down on three plays, including Robert Quinn’s sack against his former team.
The Cowboys sorely missed a legitimate pass-rush presence opposite DeMarcus Lawrence in the season's first two games. In his debut as a Cowboy, Robert Quinn was electric off of the right edge, generating a bevy of pressures to go with his first sack.
While Miami sent a lot of help to both of its offensive tackles, Lawrence definitely received a steadier diet of double-teams and chips, giving Quinn a healthy amount of one-on-one opportunities.
Quinn was dominant on those snaps, as Miami's left tackles struggled with his speed from wide alignments. Quinn's sack was a great example:
Third quarters have belonged to the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, and it's all thanks to Dak Prescott - David Moore, DallasNews.com
Remember when fans laughed at Jerry Jones comparing the Cowboys to the Rams last season? Anyone laughing now?
The Cowboys suddenly find themselves dropped into the NFL's brave, new offensive world. After three games, the Dallas offense has scored only four fewer points than Kansas City and have put 20 more points on the board than the Los Angeles Rams.
Those are two offensive units the Cowboys could only gaze at from afar last season.
Not now. The team's early offensive resurgence under Moore is built, in large part, on how this team adapts and responds to start the second half.
Dallas has outscored its opponents 35-10 in the third quarter this season. That's allowed the Cowboys to take a 25-point lead into the final period against the New York Giants in the opener and create an 18-point cushion against Miami.
The Cowboys led Washington by only seven points entering the fourth quarter, but added a field goal in the first 1:09 of the period to push their lead to 10.
Not only is this team off to its best start in 11 years, it hasn't been seriously threatened late in games because it takes care of business in the third quarter.
We’ve already reached Week 4 amazingly. Check out the latest episode of The Ocho as we check in on how the Cowboys and the rest of the NFL looks early on.
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Sounds of the game
Finally, do yourself a favor and enjoy the Mothership’s Sounds of the Game feature from Sunday’s victory.