For the first time in forever the Cowboys officially swept not only the dirty birds, but the entire NFC East as a whole. Half of Dallas’ victories this season came within the division, a mark that is very much worth celebrating.
Check out all of our thoughts from Saturday night’s win in Philadelphia on our Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Many believed (including this writer) that Saturday night’s contest was one that the Cowboys should treat as a preseason affair where they didn’t even trot out notable players. The team elected to go a different route and hindsight is certainly smiling upon their decisions.
Hanging 50 points on a division rival feels great regardless of the circumstances. The Dallas Cowboys are the ultimate winners, but we have several more plus some losers and honorable mentions to hand out. Let’s begin.
Winner: Dak Prescott
How can we not start here?
Dak Prescott through for five touchdowns on Saturday night, four in the first half, and in the process set the Dallas Cowboys record for most passing touchdowns in a season (37). Prescott surpassed Tony Romo’s 2007 campaign and while they both played 16 games in each of their seasons obviously there was no 18th week 14 years ago.
Whatever the case you are allowed to love both Romo and Prescott and focusing on the here and now there is no denying that this performance was huge for the latter with the playoffs about to begin. Given that Dak played a bit poorly against Arizona this feels like just the boost he needed to set up a solid postseason run.
Winner: Cedrick Wilson
It feels like the loss of Michael Gallup was a bit overshadowed by the frustration of last week’s loss. Obviously Gallup has been a bit absent this season, but losing him for the playoffs remains devastating.
Cedrick Wilson has played admirably in Gallup’s absence this season though and proved that he is capable of filling that role with a two touchdown performance on Saturday night. It will be interesting to see how Dallas handles him in free agency in a few months, but for now he seems to be one of the most trustworthy pass-catchers on the team.
Winner: Dalton Schultz
There is arguably no more reliable safety blanket for Prescott than his trustworthy tight end. Dalton Schultz really has turned in a nice career with the Cowboys to date.
Schultz made sure Cedrick was not the only person to score twice on the night and proved that the Cowboys are talented with pass-catchers that are not wide receivers.
Winner: Amari Cooper
There was no score for Amari on Saturday night, but he did lead the team in targets and turned in a five-catch performance worth 79 yards.
Many have wondered why the Cowboys don’t force feed Amari the ball the way that other elite receivers are fed by their teams, offenses, and quarterbacks. There is no question that Cooper has the talent to make plenty of big plays, he just needs the opportunity to do so.
Winner: Kelvin Joseph
In our postgame show I noted that Kelvin Joseph was a microscopic loser for dropping an interception early in the game, but looking at the totality of what he did it is hard not to be impressed.
The context of this game is important to remember and so it isn’t like Joseph was defending against an elite passing offense; however, this was a nice step in the right direction for the rookie cornerback.
Winner: Mike McCarthy
While there was plenty of disagreement this past week about whether or not the Cowboys should rest their starters or not I noted above that I was firmly in the camp of not taking this game seriously. The Cowboys clearly disagreed and have a lot of momentum (if you believe that to be a real thing) to show for their work in Philadelphia.
Dallas risked some things (potential to not play well, potential for a player to be injured) in order to feel the way that they do today. They hit. Good for them.
Loser: Mike McCarthy
If I am being honest, if the Cowboys had pulled their starters at halftime I might have led the winners section with Mike McCarthy. My plate was full of crow at that point.
But the Cowboys chose to keep their starters in the game even through the third quarter. Prior to coming out of the locker room for the second half they had scored on every offensive possession and looked to have flawlessly executed their plan.
To be clear there was no real consequence to how the Cowboys handled Saturday night; but they were at the point of irresponsibility by taking things as far as they did in the second half. Thankfully it didn’t come back to haunt them.
Loser: Greg Zuerlein
If we are talking about more traditional losers then there is no question who the leader is. How can the Cowboys be serious about employing Greg Zuerlein anymore?
Zuerlein has now played in 32 games for the Cowboys and has missed a kick of some kind (field goal or extra point) in 15 of them. That is 49% Almost half!
This is such a terrifying reality with the playoffs about to start.
Loser: John Fassel
While Zuerlein is the most traditional loser on the list the true loser in this equation is John Fassel.
From the moment that Fassel became the Cowboys’ special teams coordinator in the early days of 2020 he had his plan in motion to bring Greg Zuerlein with him from the Rams to the Cowboys. If Fassel had seemingly had his way this offseason it would be Johnny Hekker punting for the Cowboys as opposed to Pro Bowler Bryan Anger. Don’t forget that.
I’m honestly at a point where I’m no longer upset with Zuerlein. He is what he is. He can’t change that. But John Fassel is the one who continues to try and force this situation. He is the one who made the bed that we are all forced to lie in.
Honorable Mention: Micah Parsons
It is very difficult to make this list in general if you do not even play in the game, but it was so obvious (even against backups) how much different this defense is without Micah Parsons on the field. He is their everything.
Honorable Mention: Ezekiel Elliott
Saturday saw Ezekiel Elliott rush for 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his career which is nothing to scoff at. What’s more is Zeke even ripped off a run for over 20 yards. Good times!
Honorable Mention: Corey Clement
While there is hardly any room for another running back to see touches in this backfield when Tony Pollard is healthy the Cowboys saw a nice performance from Corey Clement in Philadelphia. He even caught Dak Prescott’s record-breaking touchdown.
In fact Clement is sort of representative of the running back room that all had opportunities to eat in Philadelphia as Ito Smith and JaQuan Hardy both also scored.