There has been no sophomore slump for Cowboys star Micah Parsons.
As usual, Parsons blitzed from a multitude of positions, however the defensive left side was his main spot in the first half. This, of course, had him matched up against former Cowboy RT La’el Collins. It’s fair to say Parsons got the best of his former teammate.
The second half started off with more of the same as just two minutes in Parsons would come off the opposite side and take down Burrow for his second of the day.
‘Micah, keep going! Don’t stop!’ With LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys’ defense leading the way - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
Keeping Parsons as a pass rusher was a priority for the Cowboys this offseason, and they’ve done so with record-breaking results through two games.
Parsons has played 18 regular-season games (on COVID-19 list for Week 18 last season), and he has 17 sacks. Since sacks became an official stat in 1982, Aldon Smith had the record for most sacks (16.5) in the first 18 games of a career.
Parsons’ four sacks in the first two games are tied for the second most by a Cowboy. Hall of Famer Charles Haley had 5.5 sacks in the first two games in 1994. Future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware had four sacks in the first two games of the 2011 season, and Lawrence had four in the first two games in 2017.
“Just executing my game plan, just knowing when to take my shots and when not to take my shots, understanding when to go high and when to go low,” Parsons said. “I just put a lot of work into this season.”
Even before quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a fractured thumb in the season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cowboys knew they would have to lean on their defense, which means leaning a lot on Parsons.
Through two games, the Cowboys’ defense has allowed two combined touchdowns to offenses quarterbacked by Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. The last time the Cowboys gave up just two touchdowns in the first two games was 1996.
Burrow was sacked six times by four different players. Like Parsons, Dorance Armstrong had two sacks. Dante Fowler Jr. forced a fumble on his sack that was nearly recovered by Parsons. Leighton Vander Esch had his first sack since Week 2 of last season.
The Cowboys defense has only allowed two touchdowns against Tom Brady and Joe Burrow this season.
This week, the defense allowed Quarterback Joe Burrow to only rack up 199 yards and one touchdown. Let’s remember that this is the quarterback that just went to the Super Bowl last year. The way we managed to stop him was incredible. However, it brings up a question, how DID we stop him?
Well, to start, our secondary was amazing. They broke up many passes and covered well. On one of the Bengals’ last drives, they gave up some pretty big plays allowing the Bengals to score and tie. Other than that, solid job with our cornerbacks.
Now you may notice that the Dallas defense didn’t manage to get a pick. Still, they came out as the victors. Last year there were games when they forced 1-2 turnovers yet they still lost. This game proves that sometimes all you need to win a big game is to focus on shutting down their passing game and not go for the pick.
Another strong factor during the game that helped them win was our defensive line. They did an amazing job of putting plenty of pressure on Joe Burrow. Throughout the game, Joe was forced to make faster passes that resulted in smaller yard gains.
With a new outlook on the season, help is on the way for the Cowboys at WR and OL.
“Certainly [Michael] Gallup has a chance to work back in,” Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Monday. “Certainly possible for him to be up against the Giants this week. This [WR] corps I think is going to come together.”
The sentiment was later echoed by head coach Mike McCarthy.
“We’ll try to give [Gallup] a full slate [this week],” he said.
McCarthy also noted Peters, a nine-time Pro Bowler who signed in early September and has been using his time since to acclimate to the offensive scheme and to physically ramp up for the season, will be tested in practice as well; and that will likely include taking reps during team drills for the first time since joining the club.
The youthful offensive line led by perennial All-Pro Zack Martin acquitted itself well on Sunday (allowing just one sack) in the wake of losing starting left guard Connor McGovern not long after losing eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith for an extended period of time, but getting Peters on the field can only presumably help their chances of continually protecting Cooper Rush and, ultimately, a returning Dak Prescott.
“Start[ing] to feel good, especially as we know Peters and Connor McGovern are going to be getting well sooner rather than later,” Jones added. “So, it will just help with our depth in the offensive line.”
The Cowboys moved Dorance Armstrong around to rush the passer against the Bengals.
3. Dorance Armstrong, DE
This entire defense, once again, kept this team in the game. There were spectacular moments from all the big names, but someone who fans may not have expected to come up big was Dorance Armstrong.
When the Cowboys lost Randy Gregory this offseason, many were worried about how the team would replace him. They signed former Falcons DE Dante Fowler Jr. (who also had some big plays on Sunday) and drafted Ole Miss DE Sam Williams. Aside from that, they chose to believe in former fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong.
The Kansas product was drafted by Dallas in 2018 but didn’t make much noise until last season. In 2021, he started five games and had a career-high five sacks, 37 tackles, and 12 QB hits. He certainly wasn’t the defense’s strongest puzzle piece, but he played a role.
On Sunday against the Bengals, he had some momentum-building plays. The defense sacked Joe Burrow a whopping six times, and Dorance had two of them, marking his first-ever multi-sack game in his career.
‘Noah Brown is a Stud!’ Cowboys Praise ‘No-Name WR’ After Upset Win Over Bengals - Mike Fisher, CowboysSI.com
The Cooper Rush to Noah Brown connection may be just getting started.
In a very linear sense, the Dallas Cowboys this offseason said goodbye to No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowler, and elevated into his starting spot a player who has been stuck at the back of the wideout rotation for the entirety of his ....-year career.
So Noah Brown is supposed to be Amari Cooper?
Critics (including yours truly) considered it a ridiculous notion, a puff of arrogance from a Cowboys front office that didn’t seem to take seriously finding weaponry for Dak Prescott’s offense.
“Noah Brown is a stud,’’ Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said after the win at AT&T Stadium.
And how do we argue against that after this outcome, with Cooper Rush playing QB in place of the injured Prescott and opening the game with the engineering of a lengthy drive capped by a nine-yard TD throw to Brown, who finished with a game-high 91 yards on five catches.
“Not a lot of people get to see Cooper, or me, in the past, really,’’ Brown said. “But the work showed today, I’m proud of him,” Brown said.
Brown was more productive than the boastful Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals. He was a productive bookend to teammate and No. 1 wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who rebounded from a Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay, finishing with seven catches for 75 yards on 11 targets.
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 CowboysDaily 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.