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Finalizing stock up and stock down for the Cowboys from Week 5

Reviewing the good and bad from the Cowboys Week 5 win.

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Five weeks down and the Cowboys are sitting at 4-1, and are arguably one of the best team’s in the league. The fascinating part is that it’s been done with a backup quarterback at the helm. Who would’ve thought Cooper Rush could do what he’s been doing? He’s kept America’s Team in contention for not only a potential playoff berth, but also a division title. A win in Week 6 against the division leader Philadelphia Eagles would go a long way to accomplish those goals. As we get closer to that Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup with Philly, let’s put a bow on Week 5’s victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams and talk stock up and stock down.

The rush defense looked much improved in Week 5, hopefully Week 6 is much of the same

Although the Dallas Cowboys have looked like an elite defense in 2022, they are technically in the bottom half in the NFL in opponent rushing yards per game where they currently rank 18th. Just a week ago, they were ranked 27th in the exact same statistic. A nine spot jump up the charts is a good sign as Dallas travels to Philly in Week 6 to play against the fifth-best rushing team in the league.

The Cowboys made such a big jump in one week’s time by only allowing 38 total rushing yards against the Rams, with 33 of those going to starting running back Cam Akers. Let’s hope that this rush defense continues its ascent as the Eagles are very dangerous in that category, especially when quarterback Jalen Hurts gets loose. If they can slow Hurts and contain him when he tries to run, it could be a very good night for Big D.

Nothing like a nice bounce back in the running game, especially after how last game went

The Cowboys ground game was much improved after both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for just 55 yards rushing on 27 attempts in Week 4. That sort of performance typically doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys, but the rest of the team in all three facets of the game picked up the slack to gain a victory. Week 5 looked much different and it was a very nice bounce back from the week prior as the Elliott and Pollard duo averaged almost 5.5 yards a carry. They almost tripled the performance from a per yardage basis from Week 4, which is astounding considering they faced a defensive line that features future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald.

Ezekiel Elliott was much more of the grinder in Week 5 as he carried the ball 22 times for 78 yards. Now that 3.5 yards per carry isn’t exactly pretty but it was very effective in softening up the defensive line for Tony Pollard. Pollard did most of his damage on one 57-yarder that went the distance for six, but he also averaged almost 11 yards a carry during the game. Although the carry totals weren’t split as much as fans hoped, the way both players did their job with each carry was impressive. At an average of nearly 5.5 a carry, the ground game carried the Cowboys offense to victory last week. Hopefully some more ground-and-pound is incoming when they take the field Sunday against Philly.

Believe or not, the Cowboys secondary is more beatable than you may think

Not everything versus the Rams was great, but it was good enough to win and still look dominant in the process. The pass rush for Dallas looked phenomenal once again by sacking Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford five times on the afternoon. Two of those sacks went to the unicorn himself, Micah Parsons. Dorance Armstrong, along with getting another sack, also forced a fumble during that sack which led to six points on the board courtesy of the scoop and score from DeMarcus Lawrence. Armstrong not only gave the Cowboys a boost on defense, but on special teams as well by blocking a Riley Dixon punt. Armstrong, in a recent game, also has a blocked field goal as well and is off to a tremendous start in 2022.

Those great plays on special teams and defense overshadowed something that could be very costly against the Eagles in Week 6, giving up the big play. The Cowboys secondary gave up a big touchdown and another big play that led to a field goal in Week 5. The argument can be made that on Cooper Kupp’s touchdown that it was just a great play on his part, or that Tutu Atwell was only a fingertip away from not catching his pass. Regardless of how close, or how great of a play there both were, it happened.

Looking at the passing yards per game stats, the Cowboys have started to trend in the wrong direction a little bit over the last three weeks. Let’s hope that this secondary can buck this trend in Week 6 because of the potentcy of Jalen Hurts and his trio of pass catching weapons. The big plays against this Cowboys secondary cannot happen in Week 6, or it could pose a major problem in their hopes of leaving Philly at 5-1.

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