The Cowboys are riding high after a 43-20 blowout win over the Rams, a game that featured four touchdown passes from Dak Prescott, a pick-six from DaRon Bland, and a blocked punt for a safety. Let’s take a look at the highest graded players from the game, according to Pro Football Focus.
The offense had its best game of the year
It sure felt like the Cowboys offense answered every single question that fans had during the bye week. More motion, more deep shots, better run game, and points - so many points! The Cowboys averaged 0.207 expected points added (EPA) per play, fifth-best among the league (before Monday Night Football) in Week 8.
QB Dak Prescott - 92.0
Dak Prescott was on fire against the Rams. He completed 80.6% of his passes, crossed 300 passing yards for the first time this year, and threw four touchdown passes. He finished the game with three big time throws and zero turnover worthy plays, as his lone interception came on a tipped pass. Prescott’s 92.0 player grade led all quarterbacks this week, before Monday Night Football.
WR CeeDee Lamb - 91.1
CeeDee Lamb wanted more targets and he got them. Lamb saw 14 targets against the Rams, the most in a single game this year, and caught 12 of them. He also put up 158 yards and caught two touchdowns; 63 of those yards came after the catch.
TE Jake Ferguson - 67.5
Jake Ferguson is on a bit of a hot streak, and that continued Sunday. He caught all four of his targets for 47 yards, with 23 yards coming after the catch. He also showed off his deep threat ability, catching an 18-yard touchdown down the seam.
The last time Dak Prescott threw an incompletion to Jake Ferguson was the 4th quarter of the Cardinals game. Since that time, they are 15-15 for 167 yards and a touchdown.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 29, 2023
WR Brandin Cooks - 67.5
Did somebody say more Brandin Cooks deep shots? Asked and answered. Cooks caught three of his four targets in this one for a total of 49 yards, and his 16.5 yards of average depth of target led the team on Sunday. That included a 25-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. If the deep ball to Cooks becomes a regular feature of this offense, expect more games like Sunday.
The interior offensive line bounced back
The Cowboys offensive line struggled across the board in their last game before the bye week. And while they weren’t perfect against the Rams, the interior bounced back in a big way.
RG Zack Martin - 71.4
By Zack Martin’s standards, this was a poor game. Still, he finished with the best player grade on this offensive line. Martin gave up a sack to Aaron Donald early on, but was nails from there on out, not giving up a single pressure from that point on.
C Tyler Biadasz - 70.8
Tyler Biadasz also gave up a sack in this game, also coming early in the game, but he settled in and had a great performance from that point on. He came away with the best run blocking grade on the team, too, just narrowly beating out Martin.
LG Tyler Smith - 70.2
Tyler Smith keeps putting up great tape this year. He yielded one pressure on the day, but zero sacks or quarterback hits, and he was his usual self in the run game. Smith had to play with two different left tackles throughout the game, as Chuma Edoga was replaced by rookie Asim Richards in the fourth quarter due to injury, but it didn’t seem to effect Smith.
Another defensive domination
Given what the Rams have done on offense this year, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Dallas defense do this well. They gave up a few touchdowns in the middle of the game, but after the game was pretty much decided. The defense dominated from the jump.
LB Markquee Bell - 90.2
Markquese Bell is playing so well that it’s easy to forget he was playing safety just a couple months ago. He had six tackles on Sunday and forced two incompletions on the day. Bell has a 90.0 player grade on the year, which is the best among all linebackers in the NFL.
CB DaRon Bland - 78.5
DaRon Bland is incredible. He was targeted nine times in this game and only allowed four completions. Bland had two pass breakups on the day and, of course, recorded his third pick-six of the season. No Cowboys player has ever had that many in a season, and it’s also the most of any NFL defender since 2019.
EDGE Micah Parsons - 72.8
As with Zack Martin, this was an average day for Micah Parsons’ standards. Still, he tallied six pressures, two quarterback hits, and a sack on the day. More importantly, the Cowboys didn’t need Parsons to dominate because everyone else was playing so well, too. That’s a good problem to have.
EDGE Sam Williams - 69.8
Speaking of others helping out, Sam Williams had himself a day. He was the one to block the punt, but that doesn’t factor into this player grade. Williams got a lot of run on defense as the lead grew, and he finished with two pressures on the day, once again flashing the quick twitch and high motor that makes him such a tantalizing edge rusher.
iDL Osa Odighizuwa - 67.2
Strictly from a player grade standpoint, this was Osa Odighizuwa’s second-worst game of the year. However, considering that Odighizuwa was second on the team in pressures with three, that’s really just a testament to how exceptional he’s been all year.