All three of the Cowboys play-callers had their fingerprints on the big win versus the Rams.
NFC EAST UP FOR GRABS
The most complete team win came right at the perfect time.
Next week this team has every chance in the world to take complete control of the NFC East and not give it back.
The Eagles lead with a 7-and-1 record, but a loss to Dallas would give them two losses the same as Dallas. The Eagles have a bye in week 10.
The Cowboys follow up next week with the Giants, Panthers, and Commanders.
While the Eagles have the Chiefs, Bills, and 49ers. By the end of November, they could be up three-plus games in the standings.
Mike McCarthy finally got the message that he was being way too conservative on offense.
This is the most they have pushed the ball downfield all season.
The First Read: Five season-altering wins from Week 8; plus, MVP rankings and Week 9’s must-see game - Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com
The Cowboys offense answered a lot of questions off the bye week with more big passing plays downfield.
This 43-20 win was more about optics. This was about Dallas finally putting on an offensive explosion that told us this team can dominate on that side of the football. It helped that the Rams lost starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to a thumb injury in the third quarter, but his presence wasn’t going to help the Los Angeles defense. The Cowboys had it going in a big way on Sunday and they’re going to need more of that firepower moving forward. Quarterback Dak Prescott easily had his best game of the year (304 yards and four touchdown passes), while wide receiver CeeDee Lamb enjoyed a career day with 12 receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The defense did its part once again — cornerback DaRon Bland continues to be a revelation with his third pick-six of the year — but we all know that side of the football has juice. The difference between the Cowboys being scary and being overrated is what happens on offense. They took a huge step forward with what they showed against Los Angeles.
DaRon Bland has become a dependable part of this defense’s emphasis on creating turnovers.
Cowboys Stud: DaRon Bland, Cornerback
When Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL ahead of the team’s third game of the season, it was a huge loss. They added Stephon Diggs in the offseason in an effort to build one of the best secondaries and with their top guy out, they just needed to hope they could be a solid group.
That’s exactly what happened with DaRon Bland and Jourdan Lewis moving up the depth chart. In the absence of Diggs, Bland has developed into a star and entered this game with three picks, two of which went for a touchdown.
Those totals grew against the Rams when he picked off a Matthew Stafford pass intended for Cooper Kupp and ran it back 30 yards for the touchdown. That came on the first play of the drive for L.A. following Brandon Aubrey’s monster 58-yard kick.
Bland somehow fell to the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and has been an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses since making it into the NFL. When Diggs returns next season, the Cowboys will have two of the most opportunistic defensive backs in the entire league. If they decide to keep Gilmore as well, we might see what Dan Quinn was hoping for when they brought all three into the season.
NFL Team Needs: Prioritizing Every Roster’s Biggest Weaknesses Entering Week 9 - NFL Staff, Bleacher Report
The Cowboys may not be able to fix their offensive line depth, but making the defense even stronger up front could solve a lot of issues.
The Dallas Cowboys clearly made good use of the bye week, as they came out of the gates firing against the Rams on Sunday. The game was pretty much over by halftime, and Dallas now turns its attention to a big matchup in Philadelphia this Sunday.
Offensive Line Depth
Add Now: DT Andrew Billings, Chicago Bears
The Cowboys traded for Johnathan Hankins last season to be a gap-filler against the run. However, Hankins has struggled to fill that role this year with a run defense grade from Pro Football Focus in the 40s, leaving the defense with a need for a run-stuffing defensive tackle.
Meanwhile, Billings is on a one-year contract for the Bears and was listed on B/R’s Trade Block column this week. He’s also coming off of a season in which he posted a good PFF run defense grade for the Las Vegas Raiders, and his mark in that department in 2023 is about average.
So, Dallas could strike a deal with Chicago and get an upgrade at one of their few weak spots defensively.
Cowboys update Tyron Smith’s Week 9 prognosis after late scratch vs Rams - Todd Brock, The Cowboys Wire
Similar to the 49ers game, the Cowboys will have a chance to start their best five offensive linemen against the Eagles.
Coming off a dominating 43-20 win and looking ahead at a massive divisional showdown, though, the Cowboys have far more questions than answers at Tyron Smith’s usual spot.
The eight-time Pro Bowler was in street clothes for Sunday’s game versus the Rams after suffering a neck stinger earlier in the week. Despite trending toward making the start, Smith found himself a very late scratch for the second time this season.
“Actually, we all thought Tyron was going to go, until the last second. Probably the better part of valor was to not play him today,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the media at AT&T Stadium following the team’s 43-20 win.
Just as in the Week 3 switcheroo that saw Smith even named a team captain before being declared out during pregame warmups, the 32-year-old seemed ready to take the field right up until the last moment.
“Tyron was suited up- I mean, he was one of the first guys here today,” Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters in his postgame press conference “So he was ready to go. But going through the examination, the medical staff decided that he was not ready.”
Backup Chuma Edoga got the start instead and got off to a very rocky start, letting L.A. defensive end Michael Hoecht blow past him to sack Dak Prescott on the first play from scrimmage.
But Edoga himself was injured late in the game and had to be carted off the field. Early indications are that he has a low ankle sprain; he may not miss much time- if any at all- though the results of further testing will likely lend clarity.
NFL power rankings: Eagles back on top as Chiefs, 49ers slip; Cowboys, Bengals, Jaguars rise for Week 9 - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Cowboys at Eagles should be a top ten matchup in every power ranking, but stay posted to BTB for our full roundup of where the Cowboys sit after blowing out the Rams.
NFL power rankings Week 9
1. Philadelphia Eagles 6-1 (previous week: 2)
The Eagles made it another wild game with the Commanders this season but they showed their offense with Jalen Hurts is fine getting it done when it can’t really run. A.J. Brown seems to have become unstoppable downfield.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars 6-2 (5)
The Jaguars are the hottest team in the AFC, having won five consecutive games. They have taken care of the Bills and Steelers far away from Jacksonville along the way. The defense keeps making key plays and the offense gets it done however it feels with Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Only the bye cools them off.
3. Baltimore Ravens 6-2 (3)
The Ravens don’t get a lot of style points for getting a little sloppy defensively at the end of their game at Arizona, but keep in mind they were riding the high of the Lions rout and had a mini letdown ahead of bigger matchups. Still, Lamar Jackson and the running game kept doing their thing.
4. Kansas City Chiefs 6-2 (1)
It was eventual that Patrick Mahomes would lose to a losing team and also lose to the Broncos. He got it out of his system with a turnover mess in Denver that set up their first loss since Week 1. Perhaps they were also caught looking ahead to the track meet with the team now right behind them in Germany next week.
5. Miami Dolphins 6-2 (6)
The Dolphins took care of their trap game at home against the Patriots by unleashing their usual brand of offense, backed by key improved pressure and coverage defense. It will be fun when Mahomes and Hill are on the same field again in Frankfurt. Watch out, autobahn.
6. San Francisco 49ers 5-3 (4)
The 49ers have hit a low with a three-game losing streak. It’s all tied to Brock Purdy coming down to earlth and making more mistakes than big plays. He is still using his weapons well but they do miss Deebo Samuel. The bigger question is, what happened to the defense domnating?
7. Dallas Cowboys 5-2 (8)
The Cowboys tend to rock after a bye with Dak Prescott and he was the big reason for the massive victory over the Rams. Prescott had his best passing game, confident throwing everywhere downfield. The defense and special teams got back into their complementary mojo, too.
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