The Dallas Cowboys managed to win yesterday afternoon, beating the Bengals 20-17. Did the Cowboys improve, or did they get lucky? A bit of both. While they secured the win with a field goal from Brett Maher, I'm still skeptical. But, this is why you pay kickers. Let's start with the players who weren't there. Dak Prescott, Connor McGovern, Jayron Kearse, Michael Gallup, and Tarell Basham. There are more than that, but those are the main ones.
There were many more positive aspects than negative. I mean, there's nowhere to go but up after last week. Dak had surgery last week and there are reports he will be back in less than four games. Based on yesterday's game, more Cowboy fans want Cooper Rush in front. I need to see more, but if he plays as he did in the first half; ask me again.
Let's talk about the playcalling. I've heard conflicting opinions on the run game. Ezekiel Elliott started off chipping away at the Bengals. But it was Tony Pollard who finished things. The combination of the two throws off defenses. Kellen Moore listened to the fans and ran the ball more. Elliott finished the day with 53 yards. Pollard with 43 yards and one touchdown.
Our wide receivers improved exponentially. I can only imagine the team meeting after last week. The only person who was not injured that missed out was Jalen Tolbert. The story there is Dennis Houston took the rookie roster spot. The Cowboys drafted Tolbert in the third round at No. 88. Houston was undrafted. Let's talk about the star of the night: Noah Brown. Starting his career with the Cowboys back in 2017, he has gone unnoticed for years. He was out 2018-2019 due to injury. Boy has he found his spark. If he keeps playing like that, Michael Gallup will have to work twice as hard. Brown had 91 yards, 5 catches, and one touchdown. May I add that each catch he made was Michael Irvin-esque. Leaping up into the air to catch the ball with his body. Beautiful technique.
Moving onto the defense. Donovan Wilson lead the team in tackles while Micah Parson picked up two sacks. Parsons has had two sacks each game so far. That makes me so happy. Vander Esch is back to his old self again, I can see the fire in his eyes. Diggs had a wonderful night. Many fans worried about the matchup between Diggs and Ja'Marr Chase. Chase only completed two catches and fourteen yards that game. A new face to Cowboy Nation put up some nice stats: Anthony Barr. Barr, a former Minnesota Viking and four time Pro Bowler looked like he was at home. Dallas has a defense that provides such passion and support on every play. That is a refreshing statement.
Yet, was the defense better because they had something to prove? Or because Joe Burrow is still recovering from a ruptured appendix? One thing is for sure; The Bengals had many opportunities to take back the game. But they kept self-destructing.
The second half we scored no touchdowns. To me, that is a problem. Halftime is not the end of the game. Kellen Moore got comfortable and laidback with his playcalling. We could've lead that game 30-9. The Bengals were on the field majority of the second-half, making our defense tired. Although, they still played their hearts out and put up key coverages. One more positive: we now have a kicker that can kick game-winners as well as extra points! I do not miss Greg the leg one bit. It's only week two and it feels like week eight.
Next week we play the New York Giants. I'm not sure how that will go. Cowboys fans, let's not get overconfident. There is much more work to do.
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