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Grading the Cowboys’ Week 7 victory over the Detroit Lions

We are handing out the report card for the Cowboys in all phases of the game.

NFL: OCT 23 Lions at Cowboys Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Through Week 7 of the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys possess a 5-2 record. Their hopes of making the playoffs increased slightly from 92% to 95% after defeating the Lions 24-6. To cap it off, Dak Prescott is back in the saddle. Having Prescott work out the kinks prior to the bye week in Week 9 against the likes of the Detroit Lions, and next up the Chicago Bears, is a blessing as neither team looks to be in the playoff hunt for the 2022 season. As we saw in Week 7 vs the Lions, Dallas was able to defeat them without a ground-breaking performance from Prescott. Let’s grade the Cowboys performance from this past week.

An efficient attack on offense from both a passing and running perspective were enough to win this week

Grade: B-

Starting with the offense, there was a focus on the run game in Week 7. Tony Pollard led the way in the ground game with 83 yards on 12 carries for an average of 6.9 yards per carry. Ezekiel Elliott’s line featured two touchdowns on 15 carries for 57 yards with an average of 3.8 yards per tote. Both players were featured in ways that really focuses on their strengths and it paid off.

Having the ground game being as effective as it was very beneficial for a returning Dak Prescott, as he knocked off some of that rust. That first throw he made to Noah Brown that ended up falling incomplete had a lot of juice on it, and you could tell that Dak was fired up to be back on the field. Not too shockingly, the first two drives for Prescott and the offense went three and out, and Dallas ended up trailing 3-0. This is where things started clicking on offense as the unit ran 12 plays and gained 72 yards which ended with a field goal to tie things up. But the quick answer after trailing was what needed to happen, and it did.

Once Dak found his groove, primarily in the second half, the Cowboys scored 21 unanswered points to win 24-6. Prescott’s stats weren’t mind blowing, but at a 76% completion rate, it was a positive sign heading into Week 8.

Pitching a shutout in the second half went a long way in helping the team achieve another victory

Grade: A

The other side of the field featured another tremendous outing by Micah Parsons and company. The heat was on for Jared Goff all afternoon and he ended up being sacked a total of five times in the contest. Sam Williams had a breakout performance and led the way with two sacks, with one of those sacks being that of the strip-sack variety. Donovan Wilson, Dorance Armstrong, and Parsons picked up the tab for the other three sacks in the game. DeMarcus Lawrence did not tally a sack, but did have a forced fumble, and even with the stat sheet maybe not doing him any favors, Tank played another tremendous game.

With the pressure being applied by the Cowboys pass rushing group, the secondary reaped the rewards of that unit by picking off Jared Goff not once, but twice in the game. This unit in Week 7 did everything it was supposed to do, limiting the amount of points given up and forcing turnovers. With another tremendous game defensively, they also ended up shutting out the Lions in the second half as well. This unit is super elite right now and is a lot of fun to watch.

The special teams unit continues to perform well, and KaVontae Turpin continues to impress every time he gets a chance to return one

Grade: A-

We got another solid performance from the special teams unit. Cowboys kicker Brett Maher wasn’t extremely busy in Week 7, but when he was called upon, he did his job. Maher made all three extra points and also made a 22-yard field goal as well. Brett Maher has been an unexpected blessing for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 thus far.

Punter Bryan Anger also continues to be dependable by not giving the opposing team a short field to work with. Speaking of short fields, KaVontae Turpin yet again almost broke one for a touchdown, but regardless of not scoring, gave Dallas a shorter field to work with on offense. Turpin currently ranks second in the league in punt return yardage and is so electric with the ball in his hands. Turpin’s time is coming for a return touchdown. It’s not even an if at this stage, more like when.

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