The dominant Dallas Cowboys returned on Sunday and that is good news for all of us. Like the first two weeks of the season, the Cowboys put us in a comfortable mood pretty early on and essentially switched over to cruise control right after that.
When the Cowboys beat the New England Patriots in Foxborough two years ago it was such a big deal given that the team had never beaten Bill Belichick. In the time since they have done a lot of things that they hadn’t in quite some time or ever at all (been a playoff team in consecutive seasons, won double-digit games in back-to-back years, defeated Tom Brady, won a road playoff game) so the bar to impress has risen quite a bit. Credit to Mike McCarthy and Co. for that.
However you define the bar it is safe to assume that Dallas cleared it on Sunday afternoon. Things were almost perfect, obviously not quite, and we are here to recap it all with our latest stock report.
Stock Up: DaRon Bland
Obviously last week was not great and part of that was DaRon Bland. As we noted in the stock report last week, he was a stock down, it was his first game playing outside cornerback since the Trevon Diggs injury and he only had a handful of days to prepare for it.
With another week to prepare he found his footing and then some.
Bland actually picked off Mac Jones twice in this game which gives him eight total interceptions on his young career. Pretty insane when you think about it. While it would be unreasonable to expect Bland to keep this sort of pace, he has three interceptions this season, he showed that he can be a proper player opposite of Stephon Gilmore which is incredibly exciting for this season.
Stock Up: CeeDee Lamb
The first offensive touchdown of the game for the Cowboys technically did not count as a redzone score given that it landed from just outside of the coveted area. Oops.
This was the first play to happen after Patriots rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez exited to be examined, and Dak Prescott wisely attacked with his best weapon. CeeDee Lamb is a problem for anyone who is not fully prepared.
All told it was a sneaky quiet day for Lamb, but when he made noise he did so with a force. Kudos to him on his first touchdown of the season.
Stock Up: Dante Fowler & Leighton Vander Esch
If you are a part of a defensive touchdown... you make the stock up list.
Seriously, though, this was an incredible play by Dante Fowler who is emblematic of the depth that Dallas has along the defensive line. Overall LVE played a really solid game and this was obviously the highlight of it.
Stock Up: Bryan Anger & Chauncey Golston
Who had the Cowboys special teams group having more success (from a percentage standpoint!) in the redzone than the Cowboys offense? Look at this fake involving Bryan Anger and Chauncey Golston!
Fake extra-point, DL Chauncey Golston TD catch from punter Bryan Anger— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 1, 2023
Cowboys 18, Patriots 3 pic.twitter.com/n3IBQt75Df
Clearly Anger and Golston deserve the credit here but so does John Fassel. It is so awesome to see Dallas keep their foot on the gas and take points however they can find them. They clearly identified in their prep that New England would stack the line and took advantage of it.
Stock Up: Jalen Tolbert
We still have not had a huge offensive moment from Tolbert on the season, but he had an incredible tackle on special teams when chasing down a punt. The word “effort” is thrown out all of the time in sports and Tolbert clearly has it in bulk. What a turnaround we have seen from his rookie year in this particular category.
Stock Up: Jake Ferguson
While the redzone struggles continued (more on that in a bit), the Cowboys had a lot of success on offense and a big reason for that was tight end Jake Ferguson. He finished with seven receptions for 77 yards, both of which are career highs for him. It was a very fine day at the office for the team’s TE1 and he justified a lot of the hype that many people around here had for him all offseason.
Stock Up: Michael Gallup
The box score reads five receptions for 60 yards for Michael Gallup, but like last week he looked like the player that we saw and knew before his injury from two years ago. Gallup is playing physical which takes the Cowboys receiving group to a different level. It is wonderful to see.
Stock Up: Brandon Aubrey
Four games into his career Brandon Aubrey is a perfect 13 for 13 on field goal attempts.
What a revelation.
Stock Up: Sean McKeon
On the final possession of the game where Dallas scored points, KaVontae Turpin had a huge run which was great to see. Unfortunately though he fumbled at the end of it.
Like Tyler Biadasz over the first two weeks of the season, the Cowboys got great hustle out of someone who showed up and recovered it in Sean McKeon. There is enormous value to players who find a way to contribute like this.
Stock Up: Hunter Luepke
Who doesn’t love a fullback touchdown?!
It has always made sense that Lupeke could be a great option near the goal line for the Cowboys. He proved it on Sunday.
Stock Down: Redzone Offense
The Luepke touchdown up above was a great thing to see from the Cowboys given that they sputtered in the redzone all day long before it. This “problem” does not feel like as big of a deal when the Cowboys win and especially so when they win big, but it continues to be a thing nonetheless.
Hopefully Dallas settles this down all the way quickly because they have a date with the undefeated San Francisco 49ers next Sunday night and will need all of the points they can get.