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Cowboys game ball: The win over the Panthers produced multiple candidates for the game ball

The Cowboys are trending up, making choosing the game ball winner even harder.

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys took care of business on Sunday afternoon when they dispatched the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers 36-28. In doing so, the Cowboys moved to 3-1 on the young season and are starting to make believers out of NFL observers.

The Cowboys are led by a high-powered offense that is backed up by a turnover-producing defense. Sunday’s game had quite a few high-quality performances for the team, so let’s check them out and narrow it down to a game-ball winner.

Dak Prescott had a very efficient game that resulted in four touchdown passes. He only passed for 188 yards on the day as the Cowboys relied on their ground game for much of the offensive work, but when it came time to punch it into the endzone, Prescott was more than up to the task. His 130 passer rating and no turnovers, plus some nifty work with his legs that resulted in 35 yards rushing, deserve a shoutout.

Dalton Schultz led the Cowboys with six receptions on the day plus he scored a touchdown. This backs up his two-touchdown performance of last week and is turning him into a legit weapon. On this day, he needed to be a little more secure with the football as he almost fumbled once, and did fumble another time but was bailed out by a bad call from the referees. Still, Schultz is ascending.

Jayron Kearse continues to shine as a replacement safety and is going to be hard to dislodge once Donovan Wilson is healthy. Kearse had six tackles, two tackles for loss and a QB hit. That’s quite an active day from a safety.

Randy Gregory is emerging. The defensive end was a terror off the edge in this game and ended up with two sacks. He also managed to hit the quarterback four times in the game and was a disruptive force throughout.

Now for our runner-up. The man, the myth, the legend - Trevon Diggs. He did it again. He now has an interception in each of the Cowboys first four games of the season, and in this game he decided to do it twice. He is becoming an elite corner, and he also chipped in four tackles. He did experience back tightness in the fourth quarter so let’s hope that is not going to affect him going forward.

And this week’s game ball goes to Ezekiel Elliott. 20 carries, 143 yards and one touchdown. It was a vintage effort from Zeke, a reminder of what he could once do on an almost weekly basis. He might not be able to do this every week, but he controlled the game for the Cowboys on offense, ripping the Panthers top-rated run defense. He ran with power and surprising elusiveness. Zeke had a 47-yard run as his long on the day, and was the straw that stirred the drink all day long. For this, he gets the game ball.