The Cooper Rush stretch is in full effect, and through one start in 2022 the Cowboys are 1-0, and currently sit at 1-1 overall on the season after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-17. When Dak Prescott left week one abruptly due a fractured thumb on his throwing hand, panic mode set in for Cowboys Nation. However, with Rush outplaying Joe Burrow this past week, those that were in full panic mode were able to bring it down a notch. It’s just one game, but Rush did what he was supposed to do, manage the game.
The performance wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough with an elite defense doing their job to pull out the nail-biter. Elite defensive play and a game-manager like performance from Rush should keep Dallas on track for the postseason as we await the return of Prescott.
Speaking of Prescott, the timeline could, in fact, be the timeline Jerry Jones had mentioned due to Dak beginning to throw balls in practice this week. It wasn’t a football, but tossing any type of ball at this stage is a great sign and it could lead to Prescott returning to the playing field in short order.
But for the time being, it is Cooper Rush’s show. Although the Cowboys shocked many pundits by defeating the Bengals in week two, there was a mixture f good and bad play which we'll examine.
Impressive - Noah Brown
Noah Brown, who has been essentially a glorified blocking wide receiver since entering the league in 2017, has had a career resurgence. Thus far through two games in 2022, he has totaled 10 grabs for 159 yards and one touchdown. The one touchdown he has scored in 2022 happens to be his first career touchdown. Check out his touchdown here. Because of how Brown has played thus far, the absence of Michael Gallup and James Washington has been mitigated some.
Impressive - Dorance Armstrong
On defense, the obvious choice for this week, and more than likely every week for that matter, would be Micah Parsons. Parsons. He impressed once again by getting two sacks and was a nightmare for the opposing quarterback. For the sake of shining a light on some other great performers, let's look at someone else who happened to have two sacks in week two, Dorance Armstrong.
Armstrong, just like Noah Brown, has been an afterthought since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2018. Coming into the 2022 season, Armstrong tallied just 7.5 sacks in 61 career games. Through two games, he has two sacks which is not a bad way to start off the season. Hopefully for his, and the Cowboys sake, this is just the beginning of good things to come. Sometimes it takes a player a while to translate their game from the college level to the pro level, hopefully that is the case for Armstrong.
Dallas obvious saw something in Armstrong to reward him this past offseason with a brand new two-year contract worth up to $13 million. Given the terms of his brand new contract, if this kind of play continues, then the Cowboys have found themselves a bargain.
Unimpressive - Matt Farniok
Let’s focus in on the offensive line, and one player along this unit was very underwhelming. That player happens to be 2021 seventh-round draft pick, Matt Farniok.
Farniok wasn’t expected to be counted on like this in 2022. However, with injuries decimating the offensive line unit, both Tyron Smith and Connor McGovern are currently unavailable. Jason Peters who was recently signed by the Cowboys is still working his way into being ready to go. On the field , and primarily in week two, it hasn’t been pretty for Farniok. According to the folks at Pro Football Focus, he currently has a grade of 36.9 which is not very good. At the moment, he is a liability and one of two things needs to happen as soon as possible, Jason Peters enters the lineup which means Tyler Smith moves inside or Connor McGovern shakes the injury bug and re-inserts himself into the starting lineup. One of those two options needs to happen soon or things could get ugly in a hurry.
Unimpressive - Defensive turnovers
Sliding over to the elite Cowboys defense, it’s hard to find someone who was unimpressive in week two. So we'll focus in on the lack of turnovers delivered by the defensive unit.
Sure, it’s a bit nit picky, but due to the amount of sacks and overall pressure on the quarterback in week two, it was hard to believe that the Cowboys were unable to get the Bengals to turnover the ball, even just once. Considering Dallas led the league in turnovers last year, it’s a little concerning to see the lack of turnovers. Hopefully, this particular weakness on the defensive side of the ball is more of a lack luck over anything, but it is a little bit of a concern.