The Dallas Cowboys returned from the bye on Sunday afternoon and did so with force. While it was the earliest kickoff of the season for America’s Team, there was no sleepwalking or lazy disposition. The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead against the Los Angeles Rams and kept going and going and going until all they had to do was put it on ice.
This is the kind of performance we wanted to see from the Cowboys, not only in general, but specifically coming out of their off week. The last outing we saw from this team resulted in a win but in a lackadaisical sort of way. That was not the case on Sunday.
For the most part if was an incredibly positive day which means we have mostly stock ups to hand out in our stock report.
Stock Up: Dak Prescott
The team’s franchise quarterback essentially willed them to victory on offense two weeks ago, and while everything around him was going well against the Rams. he more than did his part. Sunday was perhaps the most dominant performance of the season we have seen from Prescott, and the one most-dripping with authority. He continued the mobility that we saw from two weeks ago, and not only in the name of picking yards up on the ground, but in terms of keeping plays alive like on his second touchdown to CeeDee Lamb.
Prescott did have an interception in this game but it was the result of a tipped ball so we will give him a bit (I said a bit!) of a pass on that. Overall it was quite the day of work for QB1.
Stock Up: CeeDee Lamb
After the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers a few weeks back CeeDee Lamb asked to be used more in the name of helping the team win. He had a point and has done nothing but prove it ever since.
Lamb is playing like an absolute superstar and it is clear that he and Prescott have a high level of chemistry with one another. It is a thing of beauty to watch.
Stock Up: DaRon Bland
Stop me if you have heard this before. DaRon Bland had a pick six.
Bland did indeed return an interception for a touchdown - for the third time this season. He is a huge play waiting to happen. There is no doubt about it at this point.
Stock Up: Jake Ferguson
Many have called to see Jake Ferguson utilized more and Sunday was the answer to all of those calls. Fergy was the first Cowboys player into the endzone against the Rams and may have had the prettiest catch of them all. Look at this!
Advanced metrics have supported Ferguson’s ability to get open so far this season and this performance felt like the cashing in on that in some respects. He can help the Cowboys control the middle of the field so this performance was great to see.
Stock Up: Sam Williams
If you follow Sam Williams on social media you know that he has been dropping bread crumbs about wanting to be used more. After seeing this moment, it is hard to refute the idea.
It was at this moment that things really broke open for the Cowboys so kudos to Willaims for serving as the catalyst. The play was reminiscent of Dorance Armstrong’s against the Rams last season in terms of the launching effect that it had as well.
Stock Up: KaVontae Turpin
As noted, Sam Williams broke the dam down and KaVontae Turpin ran right through it with a huge return. We have been waiting to see Turpin make a huge special teams impact all season and Sunday was hopefully a sign of more to come.
More almost did come by way of a fourth quarter punt return that Turpin took to the endzone, but unfortunately it was wiped out due to a penalty on Nahshon Wright.
Stock Up: Brandon Aubrey
When Sunday’s game started, Brandon Aubrey needed two field goals to tie the record for most consecutive ones to start a career without recording a miss. Aubrey infamously started off his career with the Cowboys by missing his first-ever extra point attempt, but since then he has been completely automatic, including on the two attempts that he needed.
If Brandon Aubrey makes his next field goal attempt, whenever that comes, he will hold the record all by himself at 19.
Stock Up: Micah Parsons
Parsons was back in the box score on Sunday with a sack on Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, but more than that was back to being his usual completely-disruptive self.
The Cowboys defense in general stifled the Rams and knocked Stafford all around throughout the game (Stafford unfortunately left due to injury, hopefully he is alright). Parsons is the engine that powers that group and Sunday both he and the unit were at peak operating powers.
Stock Up: Mike McCarthy
Perhaps nobody on the Cowboys was under more scrutiny following the win against the Chargers than head coach Mike McCarthy. Although to be fair, it was more specifically offensive play-caller Mike McCarthy who people had an issue with.
Sunday’s game against the Rams was pretty perfect for Dallas in an offensive sense. They scored at will, were successful in the redzone, and when they needed a methodical drive in the third quarter after the Rams scored to start the second half, the Cowboys got one that ended in points to keep the game a three-possession contest.
Dallas did not even punt until there were eight and a half minutes left in the game overall, but what’s more is that we saw what we wanted to from the offense. They were aggressive and attacked in the right kind of ways. Heck, they even threw in a deep shot to Brandin Cooks that wound up as a touchdown.
We should never overreact in one direction or another but it is clear that the Cowboys self-assessed and fixed some things during the bye. It worked out against the Rams, but the calendar is barely about to hit November. More is necessary.
Stock Down: Tyron Smith
It feels unfair to give someone who did not even play a stock down, but it’s that he didn’t play that finds Tyron Smith here.
Ultimately the Cowboys won and did so in style so it is hard to be mad at them for being conservative with Smith. Perhaps they felt that they could win against the Rams, they would be proven right in terms of that hypothetical, and wanted to preserve as much of Smith as they could for next week’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Whatever the case it is difficult for the team to depend on Smith these days. This is not breaking news in any sense, but that it isn’t remains a frustrating experience.