The Dallas Cowboys improved to 5-2 on Sunday against the Detroit Lions as they fall to 1-5. Dak Prescott played for the first time since week one when he injured his thumb and required surgery. Prescott completed 19 of 25 attempts for 207 yards and one touchdown. Dak looked to have some rust to start the game but improved throughout. Here are three takeaways from the 24-6 win:
The Offense will be Just Fine
The Cowboys made the right decision to bring Prescott back against the Lions. Detroit is giving up the most yards in the NFL with 412.2 yards per game. It was the Cowboys’ first game scoring at least three touchdowns this season. However, it was evident that Dak started off shaky, whether it was his nerves or simply because he had not played in six weeks. After going three-and-out on the first two possessions, the Cowboys were able to put together a 12-play 72-yard drive which resulted in a field goal. Although, the second half is when they were able to score three touchdowns and truly move the ball.
Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore called this game very similar to how he called games for QB Cooper Rush. That means sticking to the run and throwing when needed. RB Tony Pollard had 83 yards on 12 carries and RB Ezekiel Elliott had 57 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. The dynamic duo in the backfield continues to perform week in and week out. Like I’ve said in the past, this will be the key to winning games.
Prescott made some throws that not too many NFL quarterbacks can make. He connected with TE Dalton Schultz in the first quarter which put it in the perfect spot where only he could catch it. This is something Cooper Rush could not do regularly. That is the difference between the two quarterbacks. As Prescott gets more accustomed to playing again, he’ll be given more opportunities to be able to make those types of throws. I think each week this offense will improve more and more.
DE Sam Williams Shined
The rookie defensive end only had 12 plays but surely made his presence known against the Lions. The 2022 second-rounder out of Ole Miss recorded 3 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery on Sunday. Williams has not had a ton of opportunities this season so far but it looks like he has earned more of a role on Dan Quinn’s defense.
Sam Williams makes a run-stopping tackle against the Detroit Lions (via Detroit Free Press)
With the Cowboys having so many talented players on the defensive line it has been difficult to find a role for Williams through seven weeks. As Williams shines, the Cowboys will have even more looks to confuse defenses and get to the quarterback. Before Sunday, he had only recorded six tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defended.
Look for Williams to get awarded as the Rookie of the Week for week seven.
Defense is Elite
I have this takeaway about every single week, but each week the defense impresses me. It’s incredible to see what Dan Quinn has done for this football team. Many Cowboys fans know the biggest weakness for the longest time was the defense, now they are a top-five defense in the NFL.
The Cowboys forced five turnovers on Sunday, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. They are currently +6 in turnover differential which is second in the NFL behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Also, they are first in sacks with 29, five more than the second-place San Francisco 49ers. This defense is efficient in so many ways. From the defensive line getting pressure to the linebackers being able to tackle sideline to sideline, to the secondary getting interceptions and defending passes.
On Sunday the defense terrorized Jared Goff, sacking him five times along with five QB hits and four passes defended. If the defense can keep this up on a week-to-week basis with the offense also improving, this is a top team in the NFC. It was also the Cowboys’ first game without giving up a single touchdown and gave up only two field goals for a top-five offense in the NFL.
The Cowboys will take on a struggling Chicago Bears team next week who have a bottom-three scoring offense. Look for much of the same out of the Cowboys’ defense.
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