That the Bills so thoroughly dominated the Cowboys is obviously concerning, but what is particularly frustrating about it is that their MVP-caliber quarterback did not play a huge role. Had Josh Allen made play after play after play then stomaching the ordeal would at least have made sense in a logical way, but Allen only completed seven passes. Think about that.
It is cliché to play the “if I had told you” game, but if I really had told you that Allen would only hit a Bills pass-catcher seven times then you and I would have assumed this was a rout going the other way. But Allen’s arm was not necessary on Sunday as Bills running back James Cook turned Dan Quinn’s defense into his own personal playground.
James Cook had a Calvin Johnson Day against the Dallas Cowboys
Part of what has been so amazing about the Micah Parsons and Dan Quinn era within the Cowboys defense has been more than how they have sacked opposing quarterbacks and taken the ball away.
Once upon a time the Cowboys defense was a not-so-trustworthy group. In those days the Cowboys had to score 30 points just to have a chance because the defense could not do anything functional. Those are days that nobody ever wants to go back to but on Sunday we were strapped into the DeLorean, hit 88 MPH and were taken back to that awful part of Cowboys history.
James Cook’s official stat line from Sunday:
- 25 carries
- 179 rushing yards
- 7.16 yards per carry
- 1 rushing touchdown
- 2 receptions
- 42 receiving yards
- 1 receiving touchdown
Consider that Cook carried the ball 25 times and still managed over seven yards per carry. This has not happened in an NFL game (at least 25 carries and seven yards per carry) in over two years and amazingly the last player to do it was James’ older brother, Dalvin Cook.
Like Dalvin then, James had over 220 yards from scrimmage in his team’s outing (James had 221, Dalvin had 222) which is obviously a lot. And while impressive performances happen on a weekly basis in the NFL, this kind of thing has been pretty rare this season.
Players to record at least 220 yards from scrimmage in a single game this season
- Buffalo Bills RB James Cook against the Dallas Cowboys (221)
- Chicago Bears WR D.J. Moore against the Washington Commanders (230)
- Miami Dolphins RB De’Von Achane against the Denver Broncos (233)
Of course it is not great to see De’Von Achane’s name there considering that the Cowboys visit Miami this week, a game where Dallas is the underdog, but that is a problem for a few days from now.
As far as it relates to Cook and his dominance against the Cowboys, while it may feel like Achane is destined to have his way himself, consider that this type of performance is rare (as indicated by it happening only three times this season) even against the Cowboys.
While rare when this kind of thing happens it tends to leave a lasting imprint. The last time Dallas allowed a player to accumulate at least 220 yards from scrimmage against them, it was Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2013.
None of this is going to make you, me or anyone feel better,but there is some solace in the fact that what happened to the Cowboys was a historic thing. Solar eclipses don’t exactly happen every day.
Take those 2013 Cowboys as the example. Just one week after allowing over 600 total yards of offense (lol) they buckled down and “only” allowed 393 to the Minnesota Vikings in a winning effort.
Sunday was bad. But it was the kind of bad that is not exactly common. There’s that.