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4 stars from Cowboys 41-35 win over Seahawks

Who were the most impressive Cowboys on Thursday night in your opinion?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After watching the conclusion of a harrowing Thursday night thriller that saw the Dallas Cowboys escape with a narrow 41-35 win against the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboys Nation can finally exhale. The Cowboys entered the evening needing to win to maintain striking distance of the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers in hopes of taking the top seed in the NFC.

Despite being a near ten-point favorite, the Cowboys found themselves trailing at the half and late into the closing stages of the game. Needing late-game heroics and clutch performances, the Cowboys managed to get the win ahead of a much-anticipated game next week against the Eagles. Although the defense had its struggles and questionable decisions, the team managed to pull it all together. A select few players were especially outstanding. The stars that shined brightest carried this team to victory.

Dak Prescott

When asked in the post-game press conference what he has to say about his detractors, Dak Prescott said, “I have the pen, I have the paper, and I am the one writing.” Prescott is writing a masterpiece with how he has performed since the Cowboys’ bye week.

Things were challenging against Seattle, however. Prescott was under constant pressure against the Seahawks as protection from the offensive line broke down, and he had to speed through his progressions. Fortunately for the Cowboys, he managed to keep his cool under the pressure and not turn the ball over.

Prescott’s toughness was also displayed as he eluded the pressure and played with grit and determination. For example, Seattle’s Darnell Taylor had Prescott wrapped up in what would have been a sack, but Prescott shook off the defender, escaped the pocket to find an open Jalen Tolbert downfield. Then, after a tough run from Prescott, he flexed in the face of Seattle’s defense to let them know he was still standing strong.

Serenaded on the set of Thursday Night Football in his post-game interview by the fans at AT&T Stadium with chants of “MVP,” Prescott is earning the respect of everyone with each passing the performance. The narrative around Prescott is changing with each passing week. The NFL’s X account posed the question about Prescott’s MVP candidacy. If the effusive praise from soon-to-be Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers wasn’t enough, Prescott let his play speak for himself. Over the last seven games, Prescott has thrown for 2,173 yards, accumulated 23 combined touchdowns to only two interceptions, and most importantly, the Cowboys are 6-1 in that span.

Prescott is playing the best football of his career down a pivotal stretch that began on Thursday. Despite all that went wrong, he carried his team on his back ahead of a slate of December games that includes the Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions. We’re in for something special. Happy holidays.

DeMarcus Lawrence

Since the arrival of Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence has played second fiddle. Many pundits have dismissed Lawrence’s impact solely based on sack numbers, but Lawrence’s value lies in his ability to stop the run and create pressure. Having been held to a field goal try after moving the ball in the red zone, the Cowboys were trailing 35-30. Things looked bleak as Seattle controlled the game’s tempo and appeared on the way for another touchdown drive with just over seven minutes in regulation.

Seattle opted to go for it on 4th and 1 from the Dallas 46-yard line. Electing to run the ball for the first down, Lawrence blew past Seattle offensive lineman Charles Cross to take down Zach Charbonnet for no gain to force a turnover on downs. Dallas scored on the ensuing drive to go up for good.

Jake Ferguson

Along with the toughness of Dak Prescott, a special nod goes to tight end Jake Ferguson. Ferguson put his body on the line countless times and did what he had to do to make plays. One example was instead of settling for a minimal gain after catching a pass in the flat from Prescott, Ferguson went above and beyond literally and leaped over Quandre Diggs before taking a hit from Frank Clark. Ferguson wasn’t deterred, he kept on fighting. Ferguson also picked up a 3rd and long after catching a check-down pass by making Devon Witherspoon miss and then took on Bobby Wagner just past the sticks.

Ferguson added another significant gain later where he got leveled, this time by Diggs, and like Prescott, did some trash-talking of his own in the face of Jamal Adams. Though Adams had some things to say, Ferguson got the last laugh. Ferguson beat Adams for the game-winning touchdown that put the Cowboys up for good. The second-year tight end made the most of his opportunities and did a fantastic job to complement the offense.

CeeDee Lamb

The man can do it all. Get the ball in his hands and watch him work. Lamb is a unique talent, and when he is featured in the way he was against Seattle, there’s nothing opposing defenses can do. Lamb and Dak Prescott have a synergy presently that is unstoppable. Lamb’s touchdown catch is another example of Lamb and his quarterback’s chemistry. Prescott understood the leverage of Lamb’s route and placed the ball only where Lamb could get it as he caught the pass for the early score.

Also, the Cowboys coaching staff did an exceptional job of isolating Lamb in favorable matchups the entire game. Whether he played outside the numbers or inside in the slot, Lamb was too crafty for whatever defender the Seahawks placed in front of him. Lamb is too good and elite to be stopped by one defender or zone coverages. The only way Seattle could limit Lamb was to commit penalties.

Funny enough, if Seattle hadn’t been penalized as much as they were, there’s no telling how many yards and receptions Lamb would have had. However, his 12 receptions for 116 yards is nothing to scoff at. In the post-game interview, Prescott reaffirmed that Lamb is one of the league’s best receivers. After that performance, it’s hard to argue with him.

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