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After further review: Cowboys stars shine bright as CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons ground the Jets

What can we learn after re-watching the tape?

New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys continue to build on a promising season with back-to-back wins of over 20 points. There is no denying that the defense is spectacular, and in contrast, it makes the offense the unit that still makes us squint our eyes a bit as we try to figure them out. At first watch, they were okay, but what can we learn after re-watching the game film? Let’s run through what we can gain after further review.

CeeDee Lamb did it all

If you looked at the stat sheet for the Cowboys wide receivers, you’d think this was 2022 all over again. It’s CeeDee Lamb and nobody else.

  • CeeDee Lamb = 220 yards
  • Brandin Cooks = 22 yards
  • Jalen Tolbert = 18 yards
  • Michael Gallup = 13 yards

In fact, through the first two games, Lamb has more receiving yards than the rest of the Cowboys team combined.

While it’s understandable to wonder what’s going on with the supporting cast, it’s also very comforting to see that Lamb continues to be nothing short of spectacular. Since landing in the Cowboys' lap in the 2020 NFL Draft, the young receiver just keeps getting better and better. And the way he played on Sunday against a good Jets defense was fantastic.

Game-planning for Lamb

Dak Prescott went to Lamb early and often as you could see the Cowboys were committed to making sure their top playmaker was involved. Whether it was short stuff or down the field, Prescott found Lamb for key completions that moved the chains. And credit Mike McCarthy for putting together some nice route concepts to create space, oftentimes allowing Lamb to be wide open in the process.

When you step back and look at the play-calling as a whole, it was pretty good. It felt like the offense kept stalling out in the second half because all they got was four field goals. When you look closely, the Cowboys had chances. They had a Tony Pollard touchdown taken off the board from a Tyron Smith holding penalty. And they had 1st-and-goal at the one-foot line where they failed to punch it in. If one (or both) of those things would’ve worked out differently, not many would be saying much about it.

It was puzzling that McCarthy called a tight end jet sweep at the goal line when a simple QB sneak seemed like it would’ve done the trick. This type of cuteness is what fans didn’t like about Kellen Moore, so please, Mike, just keep it simple.

Strength in the middle

Speaking of QB-sneaking, how cool is it that opposing teams aren’t able to pick up those last few inches at will. Last year, not only was the Cowboys rushing defense a weak spot, but you might as well throw up the white flag in 3rd/4th-and-short situations.

Not anymore. The Cowboys' interior defensive line is getting pushback and linebackers are getting through the holes. This equates to nothing easy for the Cowboys' opponents.

The Micah Zone

You unlock this door and find yourself trailing in a football game. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, but no ability to run the football. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance from of a pass rush that is gradually approaching. You’ve just crossed over into the Micah Zone.

It’s scary, I know. Teams fall behind, can’t get the ground game going, and are forced to rely on the one thing they were hoping to not have to do, step back and throw the ball continuously. The Cowboys' pass rush is dangerous. After two games, no team has more sacks than the Cowboys. They can come at you from all angles, but that’s largely because the offensive line is focused on that one you... oh, you know the guy.

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