For the fifth week in a row the Dallas Cowboys fanbase is a happy group. We have been on a magical ride this season friends, and thankfully it shows no promise of slowing down. Five wins in a row is nothing to be disappointed with, but this team, this particular team, seems more than capable of ripping off plenty more once they get back from their bye.
We discussed everything from Sunday’s win during our Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys podcast network! Subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcast so you don’t miss any of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Dallas somewhat snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the New England Patriots and no longer have to hear about how Bill Belichick owns them. The Cowboys have established themselves as serious players in 2021 and this week was the most recent example as to how mighty the powers they wield can ultimately be.
It was a rocky game, but there were notable performances nonetheless. Here are our winners, losers, and honorable mentions.
Winner: Randy Gregory
The Dallas Cowboys never let go of belief in Randy Gregory and what’s important is that this is true on a human level. It is just as true as it relates to football though and Gregory is rewarding them rather kindly.
Gregory finished with two sacks including a forced fumble against New England. He has given the team a true “war daddy” presence this season, even with DeMarcus Lawrence (and to a lesser degree Dorance Armstrong) missing time to this point. He is, in many ways, the engine that makes the defense go.
Winner: Trevon Diggs
If Gregory is the engine then Trevon Diggs is the speed and flash. Against all odds Diggs did it again and not only notched his sixth straight game with an interception to open the season (his seventh overall), but he took it all the way to the house for a much-needed score at the time.
It is amazing how Diggs is able to almost will interceptions into existence. His ability to break away with speed is unmatched from almost any player on the field. To put it simply, he is incredible at the sport of football.
Winner: Luke Gifford
There are many Cowboys fans who were very hard on the team’s special teams group early in the season. John Fassel has steadied the ship, there is no question about that.
What’s more is that Bones (like he did last year) continues to find ways to impact the game in the third phase. Luke Gifford was the frontman for this idea on Sunday and blocked a punt, shifting the game’s momentum.
If only it had turned into points. More on that later.
Winner: CeeDee Lamb
It remains incredible that CeeDee Lamb fell to the Cowboys. He is starting to become what many of us knew he always would.
Lamb finished the game with nine receptions for 149 yards with two touchdowns, including the game-winner. He is arguably the team’s most dynamic threat in the passing game which is difficult to gauge given how many there are.
Winner: Cedrick Wilson
Every team needs someone who is willing to do the dirty work and there is no question that on offense that player is Cedrick Wilson for the Cowboys.
Wilson had some moments where he flirted with disaster (like on a fumbled punt return), but he made what was at the time the play of the game when he adjusted his body mid-air to come down with a catch on a 4th-and-5 when Dallas was driving to tie the game.
Wilson has stepped up since Michael Gallup was lost for part of the season with a calf strain. His presence on the team is invaluable.
Honorable Mention: Ty Nsekhe
At one point in time the Dallas Cowboys offensive line was operating without both Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. If I had told you this would be the case a month ago we would have all panicked. Terence Steele has played admirably for Collins over the last five weeks, but in this particular game Ty Nsekhe was called upon while Smith dealt with an ankle situation. Nsekhe didn’t set the world on fire, but he helped keep the ship afloat and did so at a moment’s notice.
Honorable Mention: Jayron Kearse
We have spent a lot of time talking about the addition of Jayron Kearse to this defense and he has justified every single bit of it.
Kearse has raised the floor of the group in an overall sense. He generates accountability on the back end and it is clear to see that this is felt from the defense as a whole. In this game specifically Kearse almost got home on Patriots quarterback Mac Jones a few times, but the pressure that he generated was invaluable.
Honorable Mention: Ezekiel Elliott
Many are quick to note that Ezekiel Elliott looks like this or that version of himself. They are trying to compare him to an Ezekiel Elliott that we have seen in the past.
Truth be told it doesn’t matter which Zeke you think this Zeke looks like. Ultimately he is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win (run the ball, catch the ball in space, block). That is what is most important.
Loser: NFL Officiating
Nobody wants to say that referees are responsible for a loss. The Dallas Cowboys did not lose so we literally cannot do that, but the referees almost made that happen. We will get there in just a moment, but the Cowboys had a lot of mistakes that shouldn’t have happened. Beyond that, though, the officiating in this game was a disaster.
Consider that early in the game the Cowboys went for it on fourth and short. They ultimately didn’t get it, but it looked close and the officials didn’t even take the chains out to measure. Mike McCarthy had to challenge the play when the officials didn’t even take the chains out to check on things.
There were multiple missed roughing penalties on New England as they got to Dak Prescott, but missed penalties unfortunately happen. What shouldn’t happen is a disregarding of responsibility like not measuring for a first down.
The referees also seemed to miss a call on Dak Prescott when he scored on 3rd-and-goal late in the first half. His body was seen laying halfway in the endzone with the ball in his possession, but the officials marked him short.
The NFL needs to demand better from their officials.
Loser: Team Discipline
The Cowboys were penalized 12 times for 115 yards in this game. That they won remains one of the more improbable things to happen to them in some time. We also saw a handful of mental mistakes from the Cowboys throughout this contest. Ultimately they were either a little asleep at the wheel, intimidated by Bill Belichick, or just confused for some reason or another.
It is a good thing that Dallas won this game, but they won’t win many games with this kind of formula.
Loser: Connor Williams
People are generally hard on Connor Williams which is strange given that he has been one of the more stable players on the team so far this season, but that was certainly not the case on Sunday.
Williams had a terrible fourth quarter and almost knocked the Cowboys out of range to keep the game alive as they were driving down by three. Sometimes bad games happen and that is in no way an excuse, hopefully Connor Williams bounces back soon enough.
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