clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cowboys Game Ball: An unexpected starter makes his mark on the game

The Cowboys needed an emergency start, and got bang for their buck.

San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys can thank their defense and special teams for much of the reason they came out on top in their win over the San Francisco 49ers. The defense provided three turnovers including a couple of interceptions late in the game that help seal the deal. The special teams also added a turnover and CeeDee Lamb scored on a kickoff return after and onside kick. Overall, those two phases of the game helped account for 24 of the Cowboys 41 points.

But you still have to cash in on those turnovers, and the Cowboys offense was able to do that. They did it in a week when Ezekiel Elliott missed his first game because of injury in his NFL career. That meant that Tony Pollard was thrust into the spotlight and he produced. For his efforts, we award him the Game Ball of the Week.

It wasn’t a stellar running day for Pollard, as we learned that much of the problems in the Cowboys running game is down to the blocking of the offensive line. Zeke has had problems running consistently behind this line this season, and now Pollard has too. But Pollard provides something that ahs been missing from Zeke’s game - the homerun. Pollard’s 40-yard scamper for a touchdown late in the game is the kind of play we don’t see from Zeke anymore, and it was the dagger that put the game away.

Pollard also shows surer hands in the passing game, and supplemented his low yards per carry average for most of the game with some quality runs after the catch, including a 30-yard effort. For the game, Pollard had 12 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns, and added six catches for 63 yards. He’s absolutely made the case for more touches going forward.

Honorable Mentions

Jourdan Lewis - The Cowboys diminutive cornerback was every where in this game accumulating six tackles, a sack, another tackle for loss, and a key pass breakup along the goal line. This makes two straight games where Lewis has shined.

The turnover gang - Dorance Armstrong and DeMarcus Lawrence caused fumbles, with Armstrong recovering one and Aldon Smith the other. Donovan Wilson and Anthony Brown added interceptions. The Cowboys are finally getting turnovers, better late than never.

CeeDee Lamb - the Cowboys rookie topped the team with 85 yards receiving, including a 45-yarder that set up a touchdown. He also scored on the onside kick, even though technically he should have just fallen on the ball. Still, he’s a playmaker, even adding a nice 16-yard punt return.

Chidobe Awuzie - He didn’t get a turnover or a sack like his fellow secondary members, but he had eight tackles on the game. Against a running team like the 49ers, you need your corners to get involved in tackling and Awuzie did He also broke up two passes.