The Dallas Cowboys offense was extremely clean and efficient in their 40-3 blowout win against the Minnesota Vikings. In Prescott’s four games this season prior to the Vikings game, he turned the ball over at least once in three of them. On Sunday, his throws were clean and precise, completing 22 of 25 passes for 276 yards, two scores, and no turnovers. Along with that, it was the first game all season he wasn’t sacked, which is a nod to how this offensive line has really turned the corner in pass protection. Tony Pollard had nearly 200 all-purpose yards and scored twice, as did Ezekiel Elliott. So, is this level of offensive dominance sustainable as the last two months of the season are upon us?
It comes down to a few things, first of which is the split in the backfield. For the first time all season with both backs active, Pollard touched the ball more than Elliott. He ran the ball 15 times, as did Elliott, but caught six balls out of the backfield. The clean running split led to a 5.3 yards per carry by Pollard and effective short-yardage running from Elliott. As the season goes on, if this split continues or even leans a bit in Pollard's favor, it would be the best-case scenario to amplify just how dynamic they can be together.
The running game is only part of what needs to be fine-tuned for long-term success. Prescott had one of the most accurate games of his career against the Vikings. It is hard to replicate that, but the way he was able to stretch the field Sunday was praiseworthy. He had two long connections with Tony Pollard and Noah Brown, respectively, that each turned into touchdowns. That is a big part of the offense; being able to take the top off the defense and having it opened via the run.
Most importantly, they won the turnover battle. The Cowboys did not turn the ball over a single time, although the only time the Cowboys defense did, the offense turned it in to just three points. Not turning the ball over is important, but so is making the most of defensive turnovers, especially in plus territory as they found themselves in the first few minutes of Sunday’s game.
Pass protection has held up all season, which should only strengthen upon the return of Tyron Smith. Late in the game against the Vikings, Tyler Smith was moved inside to guard, likely to get real time reps while Tyron Smith inches towards recovery.
Another facet that needs to be recognized and encouraged is the lack of offensive penalties. They had just two offensive penalties, which is half the amount they had against the Packers a week before. A clean game from top to bottom, and that needs to continue in some degree.
If this offense builds off the momentum they now have, adds Tyron Smith to the mix and maybe even Odell Beckham Jr, then this level of efficiency and effectiveness is sustainable down the stretch. Time will tell if that rings true.