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5 plays that shaped the big Cowboys win over Jets

Just like last week, this one was never really close.

New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

It may not have been as big of a win as last week’s game was, but the Cowboys unmistakably controlled things from the jump in their home opener against the New York Jets, winning 30-10. The Dallas defense once again dominated with four takeaways, while the Cowboys offense moved effortlessly against the Jets’ vaunted defense.

Similar to last week’s game, the Cowboys established their dominance very early on. To the Jets’ credit, though, it took a little longer for this one to really be put on ice. These five plays were a big part of how the Cowboys drove the final nail into the coffin.

Dak Prescott scrambles to move the chains on third down

The Cowboys won the coin toss and opted to take the ball to kick things off. The offense then immediately got to work moving the ball against a very talented Jets defense, staying well ahead of schedule and flying down the field.

Eventually, they drew a third and six from the Jets 20-yard line. When Dak Prescott dropped back to pass, the Jets defense quickly started crowding him. Prescott stepped up into the pocket, narrowly avoiding pressure, and ultimately decided to take off and run. By the time the Jets brought him down, Prescott had picked up 15 yards and the first down.

Instead of taking a sack and being forced to attempt a long field goal, Prescott managed to bring up first and goal. Three plays later, he found Jake Ferguson for a touchdown to take first blood and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Tyler Biadasz recovers fumble after big catch-and-run from CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys’ second drive of the game ended very quickly, going three-and-out. While the Jets punted shortly thereafter, the Cowboys were looking for another scoring drive to prove that the first drive wasn’t a fluke. Calamity very nearly struck.

On the first play of the drive, backed up deep in their own territory, Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb on a slant with lots of room to run. Lamb took off for 31 yards before being stood up, but he fumbled the ball during the tackle. Luckily, Tyler Biadasz was hustling down the field and was right there to fall on the ball.

Were it not for Biadasz being there, the Jets almost certainly would have recovered the ball, setting them up just 36 yards from the endzone. Instead, the Cowboys held onto the ball and benefited from Lamb’s great catch-and-run on a drive that resulted in a field goal to extend the lead.

Sauce Gardner drops easy pick six, Cowboys go on to score

The Jets managed to score a touchdown on a big catch-and-run from Garrett Wilson, in which a missed tackle resulted in plenty of room to run for the score. With the lead cut to 10-7, the Cowboys were in danger of letting this become a real game.

They nearly met disaster once again on the ensuing possession. With second down and short near midfield, Prescott was looking Lamb’s way on the sideline. He pumped once and then let it go, but he had taken long enough for Sauce Gardner to break on the ball. Gardner was unable to bring it in, instead just breaking up the pass.

Had Gardner made the play, it would have been an easy pick six to give the Jets the lead. But the drop made it third and short, which Dallas easily converted before continuing down the field on a drive that resulted in another touchdown.

Micah Parsons rips out the ball and recovers the fumble

Micah Parsons was once again a force of nature in this game, picking up two sacks and a handful of pressures. Perhaps his biggest play of the day, though, came against the run in a moment that highlighted his relentless hustle.

Midway through the third quarter, the Jets trailed 21-10 but still had hopes of a comeback. After a big gain on the first play of the drive, the Jets ran the ball outside to Dalvin Cook. That’s when Parsons knifed through the offense and ripped the ball right out of Cook’s hands before recovering the ball himself.

After review, Parsons had been touched while he was down on the ground, so the touchdown return didn’t end up counting. And the Cowboys ended up settling for a field goal afterwards. But Parsons’ effort and tenacity snuffed out the drive for the Jets and set the Cowboys up in scoring position.

Jayron Kearse picks off Zach Wilson early in fourth quarter to ice the game

Two field goals later, the Cowboys took a 27-10 lead into the fourth quarter. They had been controlling the game all throughout the day, but the Jets still technically had a chance at making a comeback. After all, stranger things have happened in the fourth quarter.

It was not to be, though. Three plays into the Jets’ drive, Parsons flushed Wilson out of the pocket and was chasing him towards the sideline when Wilson tried to fire it down the sideline, right where Jayron Kearse was waiting to make the play.

The Jets’ hopes of a comeback had been very, very slim to that point but this play by Kearse - the first interception of the game that precipitated two more in the fourth quarter - completely extinguished that flicker of hope. The Jets fought hard throughout the game, but the Cowboys put this game on ice right at the start of the fourth quarter.

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