The Dallas Cowboys marched into Los Angeles and won 22-10, and they led for every moment of the game past the first two minutes. It was a dominant performance from the Cowboys defense, sacking Matthew Stafford five times and turning him over three times. Even as five-point underdogs, they still managed to get a win and stay near the top of the NFC. Without further ado, let’s get into the positives, negatives, and everything else noteworthy from Sunday’s performance. Enjoy yet another victory.
The Dallas Cowboys defense continues to shine, and it is not the typical shine that only stays for a little while and then fades away. This defense may very well be the best in the National Football League. Micah Parsons is one of the best players in the league and proved why Sunday. Even with a lingering second half injury, he proved how important he is to the well-oiled machine that is the Cowboys front seven. His two sacks were killers for the Rams.
Another unmistakable team positive was the running game. Last week versus the Commanders, the Cowboys rushed for just 62 yards. This week, the rushing game was the heart of the offense, notching 163 total including a 57-yard touchdown run from Tony Pollard. Ezekiel Elliott had his first 20-rush game of the season and was also integral in the Cowboys success.
Although Cooper Rush threw for a season low in yardage and completions, he played well and leaned on the strength of the running game. Two of his incompletions were not his fault either, but that will be discussed in the negatives.
Brett “Money” Maher continues to be, well, money. He was perfect, making all three of his field goal attempts and his sole extra point attempt. For a team that struggles to move the ball near the redzone, a reliable kicker is crucial, and Maher has been that and more this season.
Team penalties have also been improving from week to week, Dallas was only penalized three times for 25 yards all game, one of which a questionable roughing the passer call on Dante Fowler. Other than that, an undisciplined team from a year ago seems to have found their footing.
It is hard to ignore the two pivotal third-down drops by both Michal Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. Either of those being converted could have turned into points and those are the exact opportunities this Cowboys offense cannot afford to miss out on. Lamb has played really well the past few weeks, and Gallup is still getting his feet underneath him, so we’ll call it water under the bridge, but a tough scene for an offense that lacks any semblance of consistency.
Not quite sure if this is considered nitpicking, but this is the second consecutive week where Bryan Anger has had a bad punt. He punted the ball six times, so it’s hard to put an absurd amount of blame on him, but definitely something worthy of keeping an eye on. Other than that, John Fassel’s special teams' unit has been booming this year, although they were victimized by a fake punt.
The final negative might better be categorized as “indifferent,” but the Cowboys tight end play has been lackluster. Dalton Schultz has been dealing with a lingering injury, but after a strong week one, he has two catches, both coming in week two. Peyton Hendershot was also responsible for one of only three penalties. It should be something to keep an eye on, and if you want to get a tad bit bullish, a position to keep an eye on come the trade deadline.
Well, the division-leading, undefeated Philadelphia Eagles are next in a primetime game. Dak Prescott status is unclear, but the Eagles barley beat a struggling Arizona Cardinals team and could be in line for their first loss. They are favored, but if the Cowboys defense continues on this path, they will be in every game they play for the rest of the season.