The Dallas Cowboys returned to action on Sunday and did so with extreme authority. After being embarrassed by the Denver Broncos, and watching their six-game winning streak snapped in the process, the Cowboys pledged that the loss would be a learning experience. They insisted that it was a blip on the radar. Perhaps more importantly than anything, they acknowledged that they needed a ride back down to earth.
We discussed Sunday’s huge win on our Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. You can listen to it right here, and make sure to subscribe to our network so you get access to all of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Those ideas made sense but would only be corroborated by a big-time win against Atlanta seven days later. Here we sit, with the Falcons game fully behind us, and the Cowboys embarrassed their opponent so badly that they pulled their starting quarterback with an entire quarter to go.
Sunday was a lot of fun and featured almost no down moments. As a result we have a winners-only edition of winners and losers and a lot to discuss. Let’s begin.
Winner: Mike McCarthy
Conservative minds, like the head coach who beat the Dallas Cowboys last week, had a problem with how Mike McCarthy’s squad handled fourth-down attempts. If you go for them and don’t get them a lot of people have difficulty seeing past the results.
If there is anything predictable about Mike McCarthy it is that he is going to be the same way in every moment - aggressive. McCarthy went for two fourth downs early that led to huge Cowboys touchdowns that buried Atlanta to the point that they were swimming in chaos and were never able to get out of it.
More than anything McCarthy guided the Cowboys to a dominating win in the very next game after doubt seriously crept in, or at least could have crept into them. McCarthy battened down the hatches last week, got to work, and has a huge win (his seventh of the year before Thanksgiving) to show for it.
Winner: Dak Prescott
Given the Cowboys’ bye week and that he sat against the Minnesota Vikings it had been about a month since we saw Dak Prescott truly thrive. He returned to that form on Sunday.
Prescott was flawless for the Cowboys and led the charge to make a statement that they are still an elite offense that just so happened to have a bad day last week. He finished with three total touchdowns, including the game-icing one to end the third quarter, and embodied the fight that the team had all game long.
Winner: CeeDee Lamb
Dallas saw their star wide receiver leave this game with an arm contusion so we will monitor that moving forward, but this was the best game of the season for CeeDee Lamb.
Lamb caught both of Prescott’s touchdown passes in this game and was their go-to clutch moment player (every week it is someone different which is part of the fun of this season).
Perhaps it was destiny for Lamb to go off against Atlanta considering they held the pick before Dallas during the 2020 NFL Draft. He had a huge first-down conversion in the comeback against them last year and was a big reason for the domination this year.
Winner: Dorance Armstrong
With the Cowboys down Randy Gregory (on top of DeMarcus Lawrence) they needed to find defensive pressure from somewhere else. Many
hoped more than anything thought that Dorance Armstrong could find a way to flash what he showed in the preseason and boy did he ever.
Armstrong not only finished the game with a sack, but he had a crucial punt block that resulted in a Nahshon Wright touchdown near the end of the first half, it also made for a bit of Cowboys history.
Additionally, Dorance Armstrong is the first Cowboy to ever record a sack and blocked punt in the same game.— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) November 14, 2021
He was needed and he delivered.
Winner: Terence Steele
The Cowboys have believed in Terence Steele multiple times this season and having a winning record in the overall sense when doing so.
When La’el Collins was first suspended, nobody thought starting Steele at right tackle was a good idea yet he flourished. After Steele struggled on the left side last week many wanted to flip him back over and he responded by delivering what was arguably his most impressive performance throughout his young career.
The Cowboys got it right.
Winner: Nahshon Wright
Last week Nahshon Wright was the victim of the unfortunate rule situation when the Cowboys blocked a punt against the Denver Broncos. He touched it and ultimately lost the ball for his team.
As we just noted, Wright was the Cowboy who fell on the ball in the endzone when Dorance Armstrong blocked the punt. Good for him getting his moment after last week robbed him of it.
Winner: Micah Parsons
There was no particular flash moment for the Cowboys’ first-rounder this week, but the overall floor of this defense is so much higher because of him. Parsons has a play every week that feels impossible for Cowboys defenders of the past decade. He embodies the tenacity that Dan Quinn (who we’ll get to in a moment) has brought to this defense.
Winner: Ezekiel Elliott
It is true that Ezekiel Elliott fumbled in this game, but we are going to look past that. He had an amazing game. Elliott finished with two touchdowns that came near the goal line, but he also delivered a critical block on the first Prescott to Lamb touchdown.
That’s who Ezekiel Elliott is. He is whoever and whatever the Dallas Cowboys need him to be.
Winner: Jourdan Lewis
Jourdan Lewis had one of the three interceptions that the Dallas Cowboys pulled off on Sunday, but he had the best game of any of the defensive backs. It seemed that play after play Lewis was deflecting a pass or doing some other sector of dirty work to help the defense’s cause. He deserved that interception at the end.
Winner: Anthony Brown
The Dallas Cowboys had a lot of interceptions to choose from as a favorite in this game, but the most impressive one might belong to Anthony Brown.
We have all had words to say about the play of Brown over the last few years but this season he has been a stable presence for the Cowboys opposite of Trevon Diggs. Dallas is very fortunate to have him.
Winner: Trevon Diggs
After a two-game dry spell, Trevon Diggs is back in the box score with an interception.
Diggs has had a rough couple of weeks for the Cowboys which has taken its toll on the defense, but when he is able to get his it is a huge energy boost to the defense as a whole.
Winner: Dan Quinn
In the week leading up to this game Dan Quinn said all of the right things about facing his former team in the Atlanta Falcons, but how could this have not been an emotional contest for him?
Obviously the Falcons are not that great of a team, but the Cowboys held them to nothing but a field goal. As noted above, they rendered the fourth quarter meaningless for them so much that Atlanta pulled their starters.