After many Dallas Cowboys games, the stats and numbers can be mined for weak points and places the team needs to improve. Well, with the four-game win streak, [redacted] that. This week, we look at the 44-20 win over the New York Giants as well as the season performances to date and pluck out the good stuff. And man, there is a lot of good stuff.
Guess he’s not so washed after all, huh?
Another 100+ yard game with at least one score for Elliott. He now ranks third among rushers in the league pending the results of the Monday night game. He was obviously a big part of the second game in a row with over 200 yards on the ground for the team. It isn’t just grinding it out with a lot of carries, either.
Ezekiel Elliott accumulated 5 explosive runs (10+ yards) vs NYG - the most he's had in a game since Week 17 of 2019, where he also recorded 5 vs WFT.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 11, 2021
It’s also very interesting to see just how he got his yards Sunday.
Stonks up Terrence Steele pic.twitter.com/hx7sKHe3E1— Burgers and Blitzes (@NotToBeTrite) October 11, 2021
We’ve known for a while that the Cowboys are right-handed running the ball behind RG Zack Martin. But as the tweet acknowledges, RT Terence Steele has become an important part of that equation. It is gratifying to see him having so much success after taking a real beating from fans and media last year. He was unfairly forced into playing with no real preparation, but he has turned that into unexpected success this season.
When you are still good even when you are bad
Dak Prescott finishes a sloppy game with 302 yards passing and 3 touchdowns and one pick on 22 of 32 attempts and a 116.9 qb rating.— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) October 10, 2021
We should all be so sloppy
Unless you are remarkably placid, you probably felt more than a touch of apprehension at how Dak Prescott started out the game. He had an interception and a lost fumble, nearly had a couple of other passes picked, and things just didn’t look in sync.
And he still wound up with a very good day at the office. He is also putting the lie to the “dink and Dak” meme.
Here's the Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb 49-yard TD passpic.twitter.com/OynvFb8WlL— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) October 10, 2021
Making difficult look easy. Dak Prescott is not a bus driver. pic.twitter.com/xkJdjGfr0G— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) October 11, 2021
This is not just some recent development, either.
# of points for #Cowboys in last 8 home games with Dak Prescott:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 10, 2021
Yes, there is now a homefield advantage at AT&T Stadium. He’s not just cooking there, either.
Highest TD per pass attempt pct this season:— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) October 11, 2021
1. Jameis Winston 10.3%
2. Patrick Mahomes 8.2%
3. Russell Wilson 8.0%
4. Dak Prescott 7.9%
5. Joe Burrow 7.6% pic.twitter.com/XunjBHA7yM
#Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in his last 11 games:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 11, 2021
3,527 passing yards
Passer Rating of 109.5
After the devastating injury last year, we could only hope that he would return and be able to play effectively. On the anniversary weekend of that day, he proved he is doing far more than just that.
Who saw this coming?
This is an indication of how complete a tight end Dalton Schultz has become, because it incorporates his blocking as well as receiving. But he is doing just fine catching the ball. He is tied for fifteenth in the league in TD receptions, and is fourth among all tight ends in yardage. For a guy who was the backup last year, his emergence has been sudden and stunning. He is Prescott’s safety blanket and a serious weapon in his own right. If this brings back memories of the Tony Romo-Jason Witten connection in its prime, well, your memory is just fine.
Speaking of well-rounded...
With the multiple injuries and one suspension of planned starters this season, the way the depth players have stepped up is a key to the success in Dallas so far. One of those is Cedrick Wilson, who has been called on to take up the slack for Michael Gallup. On Sunday, he had quite the trifecta.
Have I confessed my love for Cedrick Wilson?— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) October 11, 2021
1/1 Passing 22 yards
1 Carry 6 Yards
1 Target, 1 Catch, 35 Yards
And none of this mentions the little things he does on Special Teams, where he’s a stud.
That little stats oddity deserves the shout out.
It takes a village
Just how balanced is this offense?
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are each on pace for over 1,000 yards rushing. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb are both on pace for over 1,000 yards receiving. Dalton Schultz is on pace for 952.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 11, 2021
That seems good.
It’s that man again
Aaiden’s dad just keeps on keeping on. Trevon Diggs is off to a record-setting start.
The NFL record for interceptions in a season is 14 (Dick “Night Train” Lane, 1952). The record for passes defended in a season is 31 (Darrelle Revis, 2009).— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 11, 2021
Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs is on pace to finish this season with 20 interceptions and 34 passes defended.
It seems impossible for him to sustain this level of play. Except that he keeps on doing it. He came close on two other plays to getting picks against the Giants as well.
It’s Oct. 11th. We are inching closer to midseason. And Trevon Diggs has more interceptions than 27 NFL teams.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 11, 2021
Turns out that former wide receivers (and the brothers of outstanding WRs) can make pretty good corners.
Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs was hurt at first when Nick Saban wanted to move him from WR to CB at Alabama. Diggs was in tears. He now thanks Saban for making that move pic.twitter.com/hDCJ5fJlE4— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 11, 2021
Maybe that Saban guy is kinda decent at his job.
Now to correct something
Anthony Brown has been taking a lot of criticism this year. But if you really look at things, that is rather undeserved.
Brown is playing much better than he is getting credit for. Of course, when you are playing opposite a leading candidate for DPOY, you can get overshadowed. https://t.co/EB68eRJzRu— Tom Ryle, fully boosted (@TomRyleBTB) October 11, 2021
Don’t listen to the haters, Anthony. You are making a valuable contribution.
The Anthony Brown interception in 4th quarter, gave Cowboys two takeaways. They came in with 8 consecutive games of at least two takeaways. That was longest active streak in NFL. The streak continues. #NYGvsDAL— Babe Laufenberg (@BabeLaufenberg) October 11, 2021
Hand-in-hand with picks goes a good pass rush
With DeMarcus Lawrence still out, Randy Gregory is finally having a breakout season. That is as long as you look at all the stats and not just sacks.
Pre-MNF, Randy Gregory's 9 pressures vs NYG are the most of any defender in Week 5.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 11, 2021
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory was coming all game in Sunday’s win over Giants. He deserved a sack but received something better on final snap, his pressure speeding up Giants QB Mike Glennon’s clock and contributing to Anthony Brown’s interception for TD.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 11, 2021
Gregory in a contract year. pic.twitter.com/DvxYhdQDW4
And just like in so many other areas for this team, Gregory is not doing it alone.
The #Cowboys recorded a 45.5% pressure rate vs. NYG (based on PFF's first review), which is DAL's highest pressure rate in a single game this season.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 11, 2021
We’ve already mentioned Prescott’s performance, but this seems like a good time to mention that sometimes trying to get pressure doesn’t work. At least when you have a QB like him.
Dak Prescott took advantage when the Giants blitzed, throwing 3 TD passes against 5+ pass rushers for the third time this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 11, 2021
Only one other QB has thrown for 3 TD passes against the blitz in a game this season (Tom Brady, Week 1 vs DAL).#NYGvsDAL | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/hpzklZjFJS
Underrated stat of the day
The Cowboys had 44 of their 46 game day players take snaps in the game. Only OT Ty Nsekhe and backup QB Cooper Rush did not see the field. They are not only playing so well with multiple starters still out, they are getting almost all the backups valuable playing time. This is a very deep roster.
Now for a few words from Vegas
The oddsmakers in the desert know things.
NFL odds via @SportsBettingAG:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 11, 2021
1. Josh Allen +450
2. Dak Prescott: +500
2. Tom Brady: +500
1. Micah Parsons: +175
2. Patrick Surtain: +500
1. Myles Garrett: +325
2. Trevon Diggs: +400
1. Dak Prescott: -425
2. Joe Burrow: +700
That’s a lot of Cowboys in contention for end of the year honors. And CPOY is all but over except the shouting.
Of course, the oddsmakers don’t always get things right.
Only 1 team is a perfect 5-0 ATS this season.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 11, 2021
The Dallas Cowboys
If you’ve been betting on the Cowboys, enjoy your winnings.
This is a very rosy picture. There were certainly warts on Sunday, but given the 4-1 record and the two-game lead in the division this early, a heavy dose of good news and optimism seemed the only appropriate way to go. Now on to the New England Patriots, where the Bill Belichick luster seems to have lost its sheen. Here’s hoping we have a lot more fun numbers to look at in a week.