It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Dallas Cowboys offense clicking on all cylinders like we did Sunday night. For the last month, we’ve discussed how the defense has held things together for this team, but maybe this is the change everyone was hoping for and that teams should fear. This Cowboys team we saw on Sunday showed that they could be one of the more formidable teams heading into the playoffs. An offense that has the ability to score on anyone, and a defense that can shut down anyone they face. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at this game and see how the Cowboys did.
This was the most complete game we’ve seen out of this Cowboys team in a very long time. All three phases coming together to affect the game in a positive way and also put points on the board. The coaching staff looked like they were able to dial-up all the right plays at the right time, keeping the Washington Football Team players guessing all night long. It was a complete team effort and one that hopefully we will continue to see going forward with the goal of securing a top seed in the division.
Where has this Kellen Moore gameplan been the last month, it’s as if he’s been holding back and saving plays for a playoff run. That or he’s been cooking up new plays in the kitchen and is starting to show them off to the world and give potential opponents something to think about when they face this team. Either way, getting this offensive output to go along with Dan Quinn’s strong defensive game plans week in and week out is a good pairing that could take this team a long way. Oh, and we didn’t get any questionable decisions out of Mike McCarthy this week so that’s another plus.
Welcome back, Dak Prescott, we’ve missed you! You heard it out of the commentators in this game that while Prescott has done enough to win games something’s seemed off. Earlier before the game we found out that he had been working with his receivers to get back on track and it seems to have worked. There still seems to be an issue with Prescott’s accuracy, his passes at times are still sailing on him and leaving his receivers open to big hits. That looks to be the last piece to the puzzle for Prescott to round out his game and take it to another level.
Running Backs: B+
It wasn’t the biggest game that we’ve seen out of this Cowboys running game but they did the hard work and picked up the tough yards needed to keep the offense on the field. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard once again averaged over four yards per carry with Elliott finding pay dirt on the ground and through the air this week. As long as these two are able to stay healthy this offense will be as balanced as any heading into the playoffs.
Wide Receiver: A
This offense just look different, better even, when Amari Cooper is a focal point in the passing game. It can’t be a coincidence that when he sees more passes thrown his way it opens up the field for the rest of his fellow wideouts. Tonight's game should remind Moore and Prescott that they need to feed Cooper and in doing so they will be able to open up their playbook to the benefit of all.
Tight End: A
The Cowboys didn’t truly know what they had in Dalton Schultz when they first drafted him, now they do. Prescott has found his most reliable target in the middle of the field in Schultz and another piece to attack defenses within the red zone. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt from that big hit he took in the game and was able to return. Schultz has solidified himself as the Cowboys number one tight end for the foreseeable future.
Offensive Line: B
This was a good game for the offensive line but again it wasn’t the best we’ve seen from them. It wasn’t pretty during the first series with the Washington Football Team defenders being able to get penetration, but the team was able to settle in and stop some of the pressure on Prescott, but not all of it as we saw him scrambling at times. This unit is still good and will only get better once they get their star left tackle back on the field to protect Prescott’s blindside.
Defensive Line: A+
What can’t this defensive line do now? Sacks, no problem, causing fumbles, not an issue, even getting interceptions and scoring touchdowns isn’t a problem for them. This unit is geared up and ready for a deep playoff run as long as they can stay healthy. They have the athleticism and strength to lead this defense and I’m not sure there’s an offensive line going forward that has the personnel to stop them.
Micah Parsons is a one-man wrecking crew when he wants to be and it seems like that’s all he wants to do. Adding another sack to his impressive stat line with another display of freakish speed-to-power pass-rush ability. He and Leighton Vander Esch are a nice complement to each other, and when you add in Keanu Neal, it allows Parsons to be moved all over the defense to keep quarterbacks, and offensive linemen, guessing.
Trevon Diggs got himself another interception, but that wasn’t the most impressive thing he did in this game. Basically shutting down the Washington Football Team’s best receiver is a feat in itself, and not in just one game, but in two games. It was also a good showing from rookie second-round pick Kelvin Joseph who in his first start had three tackles and was strong in the running game. It's amazing how far this secondary has come, it wasn’t that long ago that we thought they would continue to be the weak link on this defense. We were wrong.