Gritty, tough, resilient, frustrating, sloppy, and any other word you can think of will probably do just fine to describe the Dallas Cowboys week six win over the New England Patriots. At the end of the day, the Cowboys found a way to go into a tough building against a great coach, and despite everything they did to themselves, and everything they got thrown at them, they walked out of there with a thrilling win to think about going into the bye week. There was a lot to take in on Sunday afternoon, and here are 10 thoughts from their exciting week six overtime victory.
We discussed everything from Sunday’s win and took a look at what people around the world are saying about the Cowboys during the latest episode of CowboysCast on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our episodes! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
1. Offense can move at will, but they have to get out of their own way sometimes.
This offense is elite, and it doesn't matter the opponent, they can move the ball at will. However, they just continuously make mistakes and leave points on the field. Penalties were an issue all day on Sunday that put them behind the chains for much of the game, add the fact there were some weird, uncharacteristic turnovers as well. Its safe to say if Dallas just played even a little bit cleaner this game wouldn't have had to be exciting as it was. They have found ways to win despite the sloppiness, but if this team wants to go where we all think they can, it will need to tighten up after the bye.
2. Why do they continuously play down to teams?
The old adage is that these are all NFL players and any given Sunday you can be beat, and while that is true, this Cowboys team have a bad habit of keeping teams that are inferior to them around to make a game more interesting than it needs to be. Every game this year, mostly in the first half, the Cowboys have played sloppy enough to give the opposing team some life to keep the game interesting. There is no question this team has been able to put teams away and come out on top this year no matter the circumstances, but you would like to see them play a more complete, clean, and dominant game against a team such as the Patriots when there is a clear talent gap between the two teams.
3. Good to see special teams do something special.
The Cowboys were unable to capitalize on it unfortunately, but man was it good to see a spark play from the special teams unit. Making a play on special teams is electric for a team, and they come so far and few between that when it happens it is like a shot of adrenalin in most cases. John Fassel is well-respected and is known for his mind as a coach, and now that there is blood in the water, let’s hope that this play is a springboard into more future success in the third phase of this football team. If this team stays opportunistic on defense, and the offense is what they are, adding a dangerous special teams unit makes this team extremely dangerous moving forward.
4. Four plays from the goal line, you need to score.
This offense is elite, but to think they had four plays from the goal line and could not capitalize is unfathomable. A gripe could be made that Dak punched it in on that third down play and something needs to change league wide in regards to how they officiate and look at those situations, but at the end of the day they have to put that ball in the end zone and they have to leave no doubt while doing so. Goal line woes have reared their ugly head twice now in this young season, and they have overcome them thus far, but it needs to be figured out going forward.
5. Do not forget Cedrick Wilson on fourth and four.
Football is about executing big plays in big moments. Cedrick Wilson shook off an early game touchdown drop to make a great sideline catch on fourth and four to extend the drive and the game. In the absence of Michael Gallup, Wilson has been called upon to be the third receiver they need to make plays and he has answered the call. It is clear that Dak has faith in him, and it’s clear that Wilson is a player who is capable of making a consistent impact in this league. We would have been singing a much different tune on Monday morning if it wasn't for that fourth-down completion.
6. Another game, another clock management head-scratcher.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a clutch 49-yard field goal to tie the ball game and force overtime which eventually led to a Cowboys win. But the sequence leading up to that kick led many watching to ask ‘why not let the clock tick all the way down?’. The kick was made with 20 seconds left, and the head-scratcher is why in the world would you not wind that clock all the way down and ensure that the Patriots have no chance of ending this game in regulation. McCarthy and staff have been playing loose and fast with clock management decisions all year, it hasn’t crept up and bit them yet, and we all hope it never does, but let’s hope they use the bye week to do some self reflection.
7. This game was a reality check that was needed.
Lessons learned in victory are the best lessons. You come away with the W but at the same time it allows for you to take a step back and reflect. The Cowboys did not play great. This game could have been lost on multiple occasions. They fought hard and came out victorious because at the end of the day they had the better players and they made one more play than the Patriots. However, this Patriots team is a struggling team, and Dallas kept Mac Jones and this pedestrian offense around long enough to make this game much tougher than it needed to be. Be happy with the win, but do not be satisfied with the product.
8. Trevon Diggs is a superstar through trial and triumph.
The high of the pick-six to take the lead followed by the immediate low of the 75-yard touchdown pass to go down on the very next drive is the exact high and lows that Cowboys fans have become accustom to following this team. However, Diggs took responsibility after the game in regards to the play.
#Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs on the next play (the go-ahead touchdown): "They came right back. Hit a double move. I kind of let up. It was my fault. I should have been on top of it. I take full accountability for that. It’s my fault. Next time, I’m going to be better." @NBCDFWSports pic.twitter.com/QdVHBGJqBf— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) October 18, 2021
This a young man who gets it. He understands you are only as good as your last play and although you can debate if the play was entirely his fault to begin with, it is a great sign that he is willing and ready to take ownership of the mishap. It’s a sign of a player growing into a leader right in front of our very eyes. Diggs future is so bright its blinding, it is going to be awesome how far he can take it moving forward.
9. Dak Prescott injury will need to be monitored closely.
To see your star quarterback limping and going to the podium with a boot on, is a sickening sight. Dak’s calf strain isn't believed to be serious. but again, when you see your QB1 in a walking boot, it is going to raise a few eyebrows. Dak stated he will be fine and people around the team believe it shouldn't be too big of a deal going forward as well. However, it will definitely be something that will be monitored going forward. The bye week is coming at the perfect time and this time will surely be used to rest up and take some pressure of that calf. The Cowboys go as Dak goes, and as we saw last year, that isn't very far without number four under center.
10. The bye week will bring some help.
The Cowboys head into the bye week 5-1 and one of the hottest teams in football. What's just as exciting is the fact that there seems to be some help on the way. Kelvin Joseph looks to be back after the bye, Michael Gallup has a chance as well. Donovan Wilson came back on Sunday, and the other longer term injury star Neville Gallimore has some more time left but is right around the corner himself. Dak got injured on the final play and even if it isn't serious, a week off can only help. The Cowboys have earned this bye week and they should feel good about what they've done leading up to it, and feel even better about what and who is coming back after it.