The Cowboys arguably put together their most complete win of the year on Sunday, throttling the Giants 49-17. Very few things went wrong for Dallas in this one, and that’s reflected in the universally high player grades from Pro Football Focus. Let’s check out the very best players from this game.
Offensive domination all the way around
It may be an understatement but the Cowboys offense absolutely dominated the Giants in this game. They finished with a whopping 640 yards of total offense and averaged 8.3 yards a play. Everything went right for them, but these five players had the best grades.
WR Brandin Cooks - 94.1
It was, after all, the Brandin Cooks Game™. After some criticism for not getting Cooks more involved in the offense, the Cowboys went off in this one. Cooks saw 10 targets and caught nine of them, tallying 173 yards and a touchdown. Six of those receptions moved the chains.
QB Dak Prescott - 92.2
Dak Prescott was on a heater in this game. How good was he? Prescott threw an early interception and had another pick batted down by Cooks, and he still finished with the best grade for any quarterback this week. He topped 400 passing yards for the first time since Week 6 of 2021, an overtime win over the Patriots.
WR CeeDee Lamb - 90.7
Cooks wasn’t the only receiver showing out. CeeDee Lamb continued to be the focal point of the passing game with 14 targets, catching 11 of them for 151 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. He tied Cooks with six receptions moving the chains, and had this impressive one-handed snag early in the game.
WR Jalen Brooks - 79.5
Cooks and Lamb (deservedly) got all the shine, but rookie Jalen Brooks made his presence felt too. Active for just the third time all year, Brooks got in on the action in this game, catching all four of his targets for 39 yards and picking up three first downs. That’s a great way to announce yourself to the league.
RB Rico Dowdle - 75.4
The Cowboys had tons of success through the air, but they also made some improvements in the run game too. Part of that was increasing Rico Dowdle’s touches, and the running back responded well. He put up 79 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per rush. He clearly outplayed Tony Pollard, and a more even share of carries between the two might be the way to go.
Defense just as dominant as offense
As great as the offense played in this one, the defense was just as good. They shut out the Giants in the first half, and only started to let up once the game was pretty much decided. In fact, the Cowboys had a whopping 16 players with a grade above 65.0 in this game. Micah Parsons was one of the worst graded players at 55.0, which says a lot about how dominant this group was across the board.
CB DaRon Bland - 92.0
DaRon Bland is having a heck of a sophomore campaign. He tied the team lead in tackles with four and only allowed one catch on two targets, which went for just four yards. The incompletion was an interception, because of course it was.
LB Markquese Bell - 90.7
Markquese Bell had another great game, and the former safety is looking like he’s been playing linebacker his whole life. Bell finished with just two tackles, but he put up yet another strong performance in coverage. The way he’s stepped up has made life without Leighton Vander Esch a whole lot easier.
EDGE Dante Fowler - 89.8
In a game that got away from the Giants as fast as this one did, Dante Fowler and some of the other edge rushers on this team got plenty of work. Fowler ended up leading the team with seven pressures despite only playing on 21 defensive snaps. That’s a ridiculously high rate of success for him.
iDL Mazi Smith - 83.9
This was easily Mazi Smith’s best game of the year, and it’s no coincidence that it’s also the game he’s seen the most snaps. Smith finished with the best run defense grade on the team and his pass rush grade - despite a small sample size - was fifth on the team. Smith may not see this many snaps going forward, because Johnathan Hankins still deserves more work in close games, but this was a good reminder of what the Cowboys have in their top rookie.
EDGE Dorance Armstrong - 82.9
Like Fowler, Dorance Armstrong got an opportunity to shine in this game because of how lopsided it was. And he didn’t disappoint. Armstrong only saw 23 defensive snaps, but he finished with two pressures, a sack, and two run stops. This Cowboys defensive line is insanely deep.