3 Stars: Offense finally has to carry Cowboys and their shoulders were indeed broad - Mike Crum, The Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys found added depth at linebacker with Damone Clark making his season debut against the Bears.
Clark was a top-50 talent in the 2022 draft who fell to pick No.176 in the fifth round for Dallas after needing spinal fusion surgery in late March. It was the Cowboys medical staff who found the herniated disk in Clark’s neck, and while most expected him to miss the entirety of the 2022-2023 season, the Cowboys believed Clark could be back to play this season. He was active for the first time Sunday, just 220 days since his surgery.
Only expected to be a contributor on the special team unit, Clark had to fill in when Anthony Barr hurt his hamstring while running after Bears QB Justin Fields, who he was spying on. Clark ended up playing 40 of the 79 defensive snaps, 50.6%, but he wasn’t just a star for playing snaps in a game. He was productive, ending the game fifth on the team with six tackles and showed off his speed chasing down Justin Fields on a long run that was eventually called back by a holding call on Chicago.
This was the breakout game the Cowboys have been waiting for with Dak Prescott.
Let’s not kid ourselves, this is the best the offense has looked all season, and a blazing start from Prescott allowed Pollard to dominate the rest of the game.
The offense scored on six of eight possessions; regardless of who you play, that is an offensive output you look for every week.
In a game where the Cowboys’ defense gave up a season-high in points, the offense found a great time to deliver the best game of the season.
The balance was beautiful; let me tell you, the third-down offense was fantastic. Coming into this matchup, the Cowboys were ranked 30th in the NFL. Yesterday Dallas converted 9 of 11 third-down attempts, another great takeaway from that side of the ball.
The Bears had the third-ranked passing defense entering yesterday, and the balance of the offense allowed them to make everything seem simple without Zeke or Noah Brown in the lineup.
How will the Cowboys balance Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard after the bye week?
Pollard Is the Clear Best Option out of the Backfield
Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been a workhorse running back for the Cowboys this season. Part of the reason for that is because of his inconsistent production (as he has four games with 3.8 yards per carry or less). And the other part is due to the incredible abilities of Tony Pollard.
With Elliott missing Sunday’s game due to a knee injury, Pollard had a bigger role in Dallas’ offense. The 25-year-old RB took advantage of those increased opportunities, as he had 14 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns, one of which came on a 54-yard run that pushed the Cowboys’ lead to 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Could this breakout performance lead to more touches for Pollard in the future, perhaps at the expense of Elliott?
“We look at Tony as a one and Zeke as a one,” Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy said, per Patrik Walker of the team’s official site. “We’re very fortunate to have this duo of backs. We prepare that way and we scheme that way.”
Even though the Cowboys appear committed to splitting the work between the two RBs once Elliott returns, they may want to get the ball in Pollard’s hands as much as possible. Because at this point, it’s clear he has the hotter hand and is becoming the top option out of Dallas’ backfield.
7 plays that proved that Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense are back - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat
Kellen Moore owes Malik Davis a touchdown, but a play-action to him set up a wide open Jake Ferguson touchdown.
3. Malik Davis and Jake Ferguson Help Dallas Score Again
With Elliott and Noah Brown out, the Cowboys needed to count on depth and reinforcements to help them vs. the Bears.
One example of that was running back Malik Davis who was elevated to play with Pollard today. The rookie was so incredibly close to having his first NFL touchdown but stepped out of bounds by just centimeters at about the one-yard line.
The Cowboys could have done the obvious thing and handed it off to Davis on the next play. Instead, they used another rookie for a quick pass to get the third touchdown of the day.
Prescott made a quick pass to Jake Ferguson who scored his second touchdown in just three games.
Cowboys James Washington ‘Close to Return’ - The Non-Trade WR Dallas Needs? - Timm Hamm, CowboysSI.com
The Cowboys have hinted they may be active at the trade deadline, but have an in-house option still yet to play at receiver.
With Sunday’s 49-29 performance against the Bears, a lot of those concerns could be forgotten. Especially on the cusp of the bye week to rest and regain form.
But with the injury bug and slow start from receivers, the Cowboys have been tied to many free-agent receivers and trade scenarios. However, the answer could already be on the roster.
Washington is now close to a return, and it might be just in time for the Cowboys.
“Obviously everybody wants to point out the receiving corps but we like that group there. Noah will be back. We got James (Washington) close to returning,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said regarding any possible moves before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Washington spent four seasons in Pittsburgh trying to replicate his productivity at Oklahoma State, but he never really flourished.
Blogging The Boys Podcast Network and YouTube Channel
We offer a different show every single day on the Blogging The Boys podcast network, and on weekdays we offer two different shows every single day.
- Monday: 1st and 10 with Dave Sturchio, Tony Catalina, & Aidan Davis
- Monday: Hidden Yardage with Mark Lane and Sean Martin
- Tuesday: The Writer’s Block with Jess Nevarez and Brandon Loree
- Tuesday: BTB Roundtable with various BTB Staffers
- Wednesday: NFC East Mixtape with RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay
- Thursday: The Ocho with RJ Ochoa
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin’ Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Friday: The Star Seminar with Danny Phantom and Rabblerousr
- Saturday: The World’s Team with Meg Murray and Paul Stewart
Also every single weekday features a roundup episodes of sorts similar to these news headlines that catches you up on everything that you need to know! Make sure to listen to Dallas Cowboys Daily hosted by Jess Nevarez from Monday through Friday. We also offer live shows every weekday afternoon on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
The Blogging The Boys podcast network is available on all major podcast platforms.