Prior to Sunday evening we were all preparing for a showdown between statistically the best defense in the league against statistically one of the worst offenses in the league. That being the Jacksonville Jaguars defense getting ready to stack up on the Dallas Cowboys offense. The Cowboys climb back to .500 with as impressive a win as they’ve had in the last 2-3 years by absolutely smashing the league’s best defense.
The Dallas offense exploded for by far their best performance of the season racking up points on the vaunted Jags defense. Dak Prescott and Cole Beasley respectably had their best games of the season too, and the offensive line looked as sharp as they’ve looked all year.
Here’s your weekly takeaways:
Vintage Dak Attack
Is it 2016 again? It sure felt like it in Dallas on Sunday. Dak Prescott looked fantastic out there. He was hitting just about all of his reads and looked like the accurate thrower we know and love. He completed 17-of-27 passes for 183 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Oh, but it gets better! Dak rushed a career high 11 times for 82 yards and adding another touchdown on the ground.
As a team, Dallas rushed for 206 total yards. That’s their highest mark of the season. Now let’s hope they don’t just completely abandon the zone read next week, like they’ve done s far this year. It sure wouldn’t surprise me if they did. Maybe they just needed to see it for a third time to gauge how well it work, and opens things up for the offense. It may have looked like a bit of a slow game for Zeke but he still slugged out 106 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown.
In their three wins this season, the Cowboys have run the zone read. In their three losses, they’ve totally left it out of the playbook. I think there is a trend here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s just no reason why Dak Prescott should ever finish a game with fewer than 6-8 carries.
Too Much Sauce
What a day for Cole Beasley. After an eventful week for the slot receiver on Twitter firing back at haters and dealing with the ‘finger pointing’ across the offense, Bease simply balled out. He led the Cowboys in receiving topping 100 yards on 9 receptions and hauling in both of Dak’s passing touchdowns. The eye opener about Beasley’s performance today was how often he seemed to get wide open. Looking back on last week too, it took until OT for this offense to get Cole Beasley involved against a super leaky Texans secondary. He did basically whatever he wanted to the league’s best secondary. Bease looked like a dude who is tired of having his ability called into question.
So, you’re saying more targets for Cole Beasley and more carries for Dak Prescott is a good thing? Interesting.
Another Day at the Office for the Defense
The match up against the Jaguars offense was appetizing to begin with but I didn’t even see this performance coming. Playing against a banged-up Jaguars offensive line, the front four for Dallas put consistent pressure on Blake Bortles, including three hits and a sack from Randy Gregory. That front four for the first-time being Demarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Maliek Collins and Randy Gregory. Not the group to trifle with.
Oh, but we haven’t even discussed the linebacker play yet. Leighton Vander Esch was in on another 10 tackles and a pass defended yesterday. It was only the third start of his promising, young career. Jaylon Smith again continues to look more and more like that guy who we saw at Notre Dame pre-injury. A scary sight for the NFC. The two of them combined for 20 tackles once again without Sean Lee who will look to be good to go for next week. Good God.
If that wasn’t enough, Byron Jones continued to look like one of the best cornerbacks in the league while Jeff Heath came up with a timely interception and big return in the second half.
Regardless of how the offense plays if the defense can bring it like this week in and week out while continuing to progress and grow, the Cowboys will be in most games.
Brett Maher can’t miss
Brett Maher is on pace to make the Pro Bowl four months after the entire world questioned the Cowboys for keeping him on the roster. Yeah, you read that right. The rookie hasn’t missed since Week 1 in Carolina. He was 4-of-4 on field goals and 4-of-4 on PATs against the Jags. With all the kickers seeming to just go out the window with accuracy these days, the Cowboys have to be feeling some high-level comfort with their situation right now.
The McGregor Effect
UFC fighter Conor McGregor joined the Cowboys sideline and even proceeded to pump the boys up with some words of wisdom pregame. Jerry Jones called McGregor being around the Cowboys before the game “inspirational.” It sure did the trick then. The McGregor strut was the Cowboys celebration of choice too after big plays.
.@TheNotoriousMMA lost the fight to Khabib but won the inspiration of the #DallasCowboys celebrations. I doubt he considers that any sort of consolation prize #JAXvsDAL pic.twitter.com/9zTFRlfpkf
— Armchair NFL (@ArmchairNFL) October 14, 2018
Jerry, do what you got to do to get McGregor at every game from now on. Season tickets, a role with the organization, it doesn’t matter. Change nothing after this one.
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