The Good, The Bad, and the Rush for Week 2 against Cincinnati

To start with, note that most of the stats for this game are coming from Bengals at Cowboys, NFL Gameday, other stats and comparisons will be from Cincinnati/Dallas - Team Comparison, Yahoo Sports, and my take comes from these two, as the Denver/Houston game was what I got in my area...

The Good:

1. First Quarter Offense: This was something of a miracle in that we had more plays, yards, and points in this quarter than we had in the entire game last week. And that did a lot to set up both the game and the win, as it put Cincinnati behind early and forced them to play catch up.

2. Team Rushing: No one rusher really lit up the stat line as both Zeke and Pollard were held below 100 yards as individuals, but with Zeke gaining 53 yards, Pollard 43 yards and a TD, Lamb with 6 yards, and even Rush gaining 2 yards, the TEAM ran for 114 yards and a TD, more than last week, and it isn't too bad of a team stat given the present youth movement with the O-line.

3. Sacks: Generally, the defense was pretty good across the board for much of the game, but the sacks is the big thing that stands out. We forced six of them, 3 from Parsons and Vander-Esch and then three from Armstrong and Fowler Jr. These sacks did a lot to force punts in the first half of the game.

4. Noah Brown: With the injuries to Gallup and others coming into the season, guys like Brown were going to have to step up, as defenses are going to likely focus heavily on Lamb, and they probably did in the game. But in this game, Brown DID step up. He was targeted 5 times and caught all 5 of them, for one touchdown and 91 yards.

5. CD Lamb: Lamb is only down this far because of Brown's catch percentage and TD. But by many measures, Lamb also had a good day. 7 catches, 75 yards, including two catches for 18 yards on the final drive to set up the game winning field goal. All are good things needed from the star pass catcher.

6. First Half Defense: The unit's performance was very strong in the first half, holding Cincinnati to one score, a field goal in the first quarter.

The Bad:

1. Second Half Defense: Granted they forced a punt on Cincinnati's last drive, but the second half was pretty much the opposite of the first half. Cincinnati moved the ball pretty much at will between the 20s, and while they were forced to settle for field goals in the 3rd quarter, they still moved the ball well and set up a 14-3 Cincinnati win in the second half, and had we not been ahead 17-3 at halftime, might have won them the game.

2. Offense after the First Quarter: As good as the offense was in the first two quarters, and on the last drive, it was also largely absent in quarters 2, 3, and 4, and only managed 6 points on two field goals. Granted the second field goal won the game but given the 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, Dallas was in a position to try for more... and until the last drive, couldn't.

3. Penalties: Granted we didn't commit as many penalties as last week, but many of the penalties we did commit were bigger. We gave up 45 yards in penalties, including late hits on Burrow which counted for part of Cincinnati's 3 first downs by penalty.

4. Turnovers: One may not complain too much when one wins a game that they're -1 in the turnover battle in, but Schultz's fumble at least took a field goal of the scoreboard and helped Cincinnati get back into the game.

5. NFL's Gameday: This doesn't really relate to us... but their gameday feature on the NFL website could use a LOT of work with regard to their update and graphic system. Parsons would have a sack of Burrow for a 4-yard loss, and the graphic would make it seem like he chased Burrow all the way out the back of the endzone. They often MISSED plays in the updates. On the drive when Cincinnati got their touchdown, the updates at one point showed 3rd and 2 with Cincinnati gaining a yard to set up a 4th and 1. They don't show the fourth down play and then showed 1st and 10 with Cincinnati keeping the ball. I had to go to Yahoo just to figure out how Cincinnati got the first down.

The Rush: A lot of his numbers were pretty pedestrian, particularly after the first quarter. But between being the second string QB and what the Cowboys presently have in the receiving corps outside of Lamb, pedestrian will do. Particularly as Rush did show a fairly clutch performance with the final drive with only one incomplete on that drive, and that being the spike to stop the clock.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.