The Dallas Cowboys won on Monday night, but it took every single bit of effort from them in order to do so. A win is a win is a win so nobody is going to apologize for anything, plus 4-2 feels a lot better than 3-3 would have.
The Cowboys now have a bye week to sit back and relax and hopefully pick up even more help. They took advantage of what they were given in Week 6 and in the process some people stepped up where others faltered.
Here is our stock report from the game. Everybody breathe.
Stock Up: Dak Prescott
Monday night was hardly “must win” territory, but it was about as close as it could be without that particular term getting thrown out. In moments like that you want to see your franchise quarterback step up to the challenge and it is safe to say that Dak Prescott did.
Prescott absorbed a lot of contact all game long and gutted out some tough yards in the process. He was the straw stirring the drink in a game where offensive success was hard to come by. It was very good to see.
Stock Up: CeeDee Lamb
On the subject of things that are great to see, CeeDee Lamb said after last week’s loss that he wanted the ball more. And boy did he deliver.
Lamb led the Cowboys in receiving on the night but it was the tenor of his catches that was really impactful. He played with aggressiveness that was a breath of fresh air when the ball hit his hands. It was fire akin to the legacy that is Club 88.
Stock Up: Donovan Wilson
Enforcers on defense can be difference-makers and early on the Cowboys were in need of one with the Chargers offense looking impressive. Wilson helped serve as a stabilizing presence on that side of the ball, his return has been so welcome.
Stock Up: Markquese Bell
It is incredible to live in a time where the Cowboys have a number of options at safety, so they moved Markquese Bell to linebacker. Bell was all over the place in the game against the Chargers and helped mitigate a lot of would-be damage. What a find he has been.
Stock Up: DeMarcus Lawrence
It remains amazing how under-appreciated Lawrence’s services have been for most of his Dallas Cowboys career. If we want to talk about enforcers and players who made their presence felt in a game, then fire up the tape from Tank on Monday night.
Lawrence made life very difficult for the Chargers front. The numbers do not flash in the box score, but he did a ton of dirty work.
Stock Up: Brandin Cooks
Catching your first touchdown with the Dallas Cowboys, and doing so in fashion that gives your team a fourth quarter lead is enough to put you on stock up.
It is great to see Cooks used like this. More please. A lot more.
Stock Up: Osa Odighizuwa
Nothing against Odighizuwa, it had felt like a minute since we had seen a splash play from him. Thankfully we got a big-time one in the fourth quarter, and a few others in the game
Stock Down: Mike McCarthy
I’ve been more patient with Mike McCarthy than a lot of people, but I have no words for what he did at the end of the first half.
In case you missed it, the Cowboys arrived at the Chargers 14-yard line with eight seconds left before intermission. They had two timeouts to work with and McCarthy seemed to not care about any of that.
Joe Buck explained what happened at the end of the first half and it is a pretty big indictment of Mike McCarthy.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 17, 2023
We now know that he *purposefully* and *willfully* denied his team a shot at the endzone from the LAC 14-yard line with 2 timeouts in his pocket and 8 seconds left.
How is this bravery in any sort of way? It is the exact opposite.
And before you offer redzone woes as an excuse for this, consider that the Cowboys faced a similar-ish plight earlier in the game and chose to go for it (unsuccessfully) as opposed to kicking the field goal.
Believe in your offense.
Stock Down: Team Penalties
What is going on here? Why does this remain an issue? The Cowboys are a sloppy team when it comes to discipline and that is not going to work out well if it keeps up.
Stock Down: Michael Gallup
Earlier in the season we thought we were seeing a resurgence from him in terms of the physicality that we grew to love from his game. I maintain that this is true.
But the volume of targets he is receiving is hard to justify when he is not making an impact. This is admittedly a problem without an offered solution, but it felt like a bit much.
Volatile Stock: Stephon Gilmore
He got shook by Justin Herbert, who is not exactly a mobile quarterback, and gave up a huge pass interference in crunch time. He also gave up a long third-down completion in the second half.
These are small moments but when you are in an important role like Gilmore is you are held to a higher standard.
Thankfully Gilmore showed up at the biggest possible moment!
Volatile Stock: DaRon Bland
Similarly, DaRon Bland really struggled early on with Joshua Palmer. But he made plays when they mattered the most in the second half to redeem himself.
Volatile Stock: Tony Pollard
We have never had this many volatile stocks in a single game so this is pretty representative of what happened on Monday night. Tony Pollard had a tough go early on, but broke things open on offense when they were most needed.