Dallas will learn from this type of test.
There was a narrative swirling over the head of the Dallas Cowboys that claimed they couldn’t defeat a team with a winning record, and that they couldn’t win a close game against a good team, and that Dak Prescott couldn’t set fire to the scoreboard when facing an elite defense; but all three of those allegations were dropped into an open grave on Thursday night.
The gutsy and fiery 41-35 victory over the Seattle Seahawks serves as a message for all.
“Well, I told the team after the game, we need games like this,” said head coach Mike McCarthy who called a masterful offensive game from the sideline. “This is what December football looks like. And, you know, we all understand what’s in front of us. Because you have to win the close games.
“To get to where you want to go, you have to win these kinds of games. And this was a great example of how you just keep hanging in there and keep playing. At halftime, we were frustrated.”
It certainly wasn’t a flawless effort by the Cowboys, however, given the number of drive-extending penalties they awarded to Geno Smith that helped make for a long day defensively, before that day came to a screeching halt at the hands of that very defense.
How Dak Prescott helped spark the Cowboys’ defense before key late stops - Jon Machota, The Athletic
Prescott gave them all the motivation they needed.
The Cowboys led 38-35 and Prescott wanted the defense to know it was their turn to come up with a critical stop.
“Turn the eff up,” Prescott shouted, Parsons recalled. “Y’all get a motherf——’ stop now! It’s y’all’s turn!”
Parsons loved that enthusiasm coming from Dallas’ team leader.
“Damn, that s— made me blush a little bit,” Parsons added. “That’s my quarterback right there. That’s always exciting, that energy he brings, that fire. He’s at a different pace. This is the type of quarterback that’s going to win us the Super Bowl.”
This was a very strange game.
Punters’ legs got the night off Thursday night in Dallas.
The Cowboys and Seahawks combined to punt zero times in the 41-35 Dallas win. It marked the fifth regular-season game in NFL history with no punts, per NFL Research. The most recent zero-punt game was Philadelphia-Kansas City in 2021.
Thursday’s punt-free affair was the first in NFL history in which both teams scored 35-plus points.
The win boosted Dallas to 6-0 at home in 2023 and gave Jerry Jones’ club 14 straight home wins, the longest active streak in the NFL. The Cowboys’ 41.0 points per game at home are the most in franchise history and currently sit third-most by any team in NFL history (1950 L.A. Rams, 46.5; 2011 New Orleans Saints, 41.1).
Dallas Cowboys vs. Eagles in Shaq Leonard ‘Bidding War’? Free Agency Truth From The Star - Mike Fisher, Fan Nation
Dallas and Philadelphia will be eagerly anticipating Leonard's decision.
We appreciate the frankness of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones regarding the chase for free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard, who visited the team earlier this week and then as scheduled did the same with the Philadelphia.
What is going to be the outcome here?
“I don’t know,” Jones said late Thursday after Dallas registered its 41-35 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. “They said they’re going to get back with us this weekend, probably after Philadelphia plays (on Sunday against the 49ers), is my guess.’’
That is simply the truth. No guessing. No fibbing. No manufacturing of hype. And that’s why we’ve phrased this a “tug-of-war.’’
The 28-year-old run-stopping linebacker, who once upon a time - before injuries chipped away at him - was a Pro Bowl performer - will simply choose the destination he feels is most attractive to him.
If Dallas gets him, good for Dallas. If Dallas’ rival the Eagles get him, it should be a shrug of the shoulders for Dallas.
The Hall of Famer has faith in his former team.
The storyline of the season is that Dallas has yet to beat a ‘good’ team. Yes, they did just pull off a 35-41 victory against Seattle, which was their first win against a team over .500, but is it still fair to label the Cowboys as elite?
In a recent interview with Sports Seriously, Emmitt Smith didn’t hold back when asked if he thinks the Cowboys deserve to be on the same pedestal as the Eagles and 49ers.
“I think they can be – and they have the ability to do it. They have been growing over the last four or five weeks and they’re showing signs of developing the mental toughness that’s going to be required for when we get into the playoffs… and how we finish the rest of the season is going to be a clear indication of how mentally tough and mentally sharp we really are,” Smith said.
“The playoffs” – two words that always bring Cowboys fans back down to earth.
Last season, the ‘Boys were 6-2 after their first eight games. In 2021, 6-2 through the first half as well. Both of those seasons ended up in embarrassing losses to the San Francisco 49ers in the early rounds of the playoffs.
Right now, it’s looking like Dallas has the 5th seed locked up yet again, no thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite Philly being 10-1, Smith doesn’t think Dallas is too far behind.
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