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Three takeaways from the Cowboys vs. Panthers Madden Sim

The Cowboys offense strikes a balance and handles its business.

The Dallas Cowboys logged their first win of the Madden season, taking down the Carolina Panthers 28-21 behind a balanced attack. Dak Prescott was surgical throwing the ball while Ezekiel Elliott dominated on the ground. The win was Dallas’ first of our Madden simulated season, but what else did it tell us?

3. Dak Prescott was surgical

Prescott completed 18 of 20 passes for two touchdowns and avoided costly turnovers, which cost Dallas in the two previous simulations. His only two incompletions came on back-to-back throws on Dallas’ second drive after an eight-yard sack on 1st-and-10 put the Cowboys in a hole near midfield.

As great as Dak was, however, the tone was set early on by his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott.

2. Ezekiel Elliott was the engine for the offense

Dallas’ opening drive was a real grind ‘em down affair, chewing up clock and moving the chains behind Elliott’s physical running before punching it into the endzone for the game’s first score. They then extended their lead with another one-yard score behind Elliott. Carolina might have pressed late to keep things interesting but thanks to the lead Dallas built with Elliott controlling things, the Panther offense was forced to become one-dimensional.

Elliott finished the day with 122 yards on 22 carries, good for 5.5 a pop. Hitting the hole like he was wielding a hammer again and again, he made life easier for Prescott to operate. The result was a big day for the pair but that might not have come about were it not for Elliott’s big day, as the first two weeks of the sims showed us.

1. Dalton Schultz is a legit receiving threat for the Dallas offense

It was almost poetic to see Dalton Schultz record a big game against the Panthers considering he just had such a big night against Philadelphia. With two touchdown receptions, he routinely got open and then dragged defenders for extra yardage.

His first score, in particular, showed great effort as he made an adjustment on a pass that was behind him and then turned back the other way to extend the ball across the goal line. His second score was pure power, blasting through the Panthers safety to pushing the lead back to 14 with three minutes to play.

Schultz is in the final year of his rookie contract and, whether we’re looking at the Madden simulation or actual playing field, he’s making a real case for a new contract in Dallas.

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