The Dallas Cowboys won on Sunday. That is never a bad sentence to read.
Obviously there are draft-related ramifications from their victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Perhaps you still believe that this team can find a way to win the sorry NFC East.
Whatever you feel, however you saw this game, the Dallas Cowboys won and did so in a year when it has been very tough for them to do so.
In the spirit of celebrating that, with some holiday vibes on top of that, we have adjusted what is normally our five winners and five losers discussion a bit.
Here are our 10 winners from the Dallas Cowboys win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Let’s have some fun.
Winner: Aldon Smith
An easy way to make the winner’s list is to score a touchdown on defense. Aldon Smith did just that, and it was so great to see.
We’ve known for a while now that the Cowboys found something legitimate in Smith. Seeing him cash in like this so late in the season was a lot of fun and hopefully enough to juice up his stock as the season winds down so that if he does leave in free agency another team will pay him enough to net a 2022 compensatory pick.
Defensive scores are so much fun.
Winner: DeMarcus Lawrence
DeMarcus Lawrence remains an elite player on this team. He is a force on defense and got the turnover party in Cincinnati started.
There is no question that Tank is the motor behind this defense and the driving force to whether they are all on or somewhat flat. His setting of the tempo early on established how this game was going to go defensively which worked out nicely.
Winner: Amari Cooper
There are many people that sort of left Amari Cooper out of their thought process on this season because it has felt so frustrating on offense. He has quietly put together a rather respectable year and that continued against the Bengals.
Cooper is often so good that it is difficult to comprehend. He had moments of that greatness again on Sunday. The Cowboys are fortunate to have him.
Winner: Tony Pollard
We continue to see more burst out of Tony Pollard than any Cowboys running back and it appears as if his special teams issues from earlier in the season are a thing of the past. Pollard’s return to start the second half was a big part of why the Cowboys were able to salvage three points there.
He also chipped in with a touchdown late, He is a weapon that deserves far more usage.
Winner: Rashard Robinson
Sure, it was only the Bengals. But the Cowboys are really down at cornerback and needed a lot of help from the guys that they had to trot out there. Rashard Robinson stepped up and that was really nice to see.
For what it’s worth, both Robinson and Saivion Smith were banged up throughout the contest. We’ll see what that means for the depth of this group moving forward, but a nice effort on Sunday.
Winner: Randy Gregory
We continue to see nice moments of potential from Randy Gregory and that is certainly encouraging with regards to the future.
We know that DeMarcus Lawrence is an elite pass rusher. Perhaps the 2021 version of Randy Gregory can be the sidekick that we have all longed to pair opposite of Tank on a consistent basis (shout out 2019 Robert Quinn).
Winner: Hope for the NFC East
The New York Giants lost on Sunday.
The Dallas Cowboys won on Sunday.
This thing has been a disaster for a while, but if you thought that the conversation was over, think again. We’ll see how Washington is able to hold up against San Francisco.
Winner: Mike Nolan
Obviously it was just the Bengals, but the Cowboys defense showed up ready to play and that is worth mentioning.
It is highly possible that Mike Nolan will not be around the team in 2021, especially when you consider Sunday’s report that changes could come on the defensive side of the ball, but his unit technically delivered and that makes him a winner.
Winner: Mike McCarthy
A similar message can be said here about Mike McCarthy. Effort was a big talking point regarding the Cowboys this week and they clearly showed a lot of it all the way through on Sunday, granted against an inferior opponent.
It is so difficult to properly evaluate who Mike McCarthy is as the Cowboys head coach given all of the challenges that 2020 has presented. Wins have been rare for his group, but hopefully they build positive enough momentum to ride into the future.
Winner: Andy Dalton
We’ve been talking about how Andy Dalton has played relatively well since returning from injury and having COVID-19, and this was clearly a big game for him with returning to Cincinnati for the first time.
Dalton managed things as he needed to and the Cowboys got a nice win as a result. It took some time for things to stabilize, but he has just about been the type of backup that you would want to have if your starter went down.