By Robert Tily – Dallas Cowboys Writer, September 17, 2019.
A second NFC East divisional game in the first two weeks of the season for the Dallas Cowboys and another win to put them in a convincing first place in this early portion of the season with the Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Atlanta Falcons on SNF.
So let’s take a deep dive into how and why the Cowboys have got off to a perfect 2-0 start to the season.
Sunday’s 31-21 win against the Washington Redskins was an edge of your seat matchup with the game being finely balanced throughout but the Cowboys started to dominate on offense from the 2nd quarter onwards.
The Redskins started off well with a through touchdown for Adrian Peterson, this came off of an interception off Dak Prescott, as the ball came off of Randell Cobb’s hand and was intercepted by Montae Nicholson. This would pretty much be the last issue with the Dallas offence as after this Dak and the Boys went to work scoring on the next 5 possessions TD, TD, TD, FG, TD.
With Dak spreading the ball about, Devin Smith got the first TD of the night with a 51-yard score, Jason Witten helped himself to a 2nd TD in 2 games, Amari Cooper got third of the day before Zeke Elliott closed things out with another rushing score on the year.
There were some key elements to the Dallas win and some of the things that I think have led to such as good start to the season also.
As stated above, Dak is spreading the ball around with all receivers getting in on the action, the proof being the following stats from the first 2 games combined.
- Amari Cooper- 2 TD’s / 150 yards
- Michael Gallup – 0 TD’s / 226 yards
- Randall Cobb – 1 TD / 80 yards
- Jason Witten – 2 TD’s / 40 yards
- Blake Jarwin – 1 TD / 61 yards
- Devin Smith – 1 TD / 74 yards
As you can see seven TD’s spread around the teams six main receivers. This is what I think the Cowboys meant when they had a plan to go with a committee approach at the start of last season, why is it working now?
Well, better players and better schemes with lots of pre-snap movement and misdirection giving Prescott more places to go with the ball, yes, he has Cooper but he doesn’t have to force him the ball. Add to this he has Zeke, who has 2 TD’s and 164 yards rushing in 2 games – when he was on a pitch count the first game and life is good if your a member of #CowboysNation right now.
Finishing up on Prescott’s role in the team’s early-season success, his perfect passer rating in the first game against the Giants and posting a combined total of
- 51/62 – 82.2% completion
- 674 yards at 13.2 yards per catch
- 7 Passing TD’s
- 81 yards rushing
I’ll leave you to think about those numbers.
Of Course, it hasn’t just been Prescott who has been a standout performer through two games as the Cowboys have got a couple of others to thank off the field as well as on it.
There were some questions over Brett Maher in the offseason and how has he really has responded well in the first 2 games. The Kicker has been 9/9 on extra points (one admittedly via the upright) and 1/1 on field goals. If he keeps this up through the season then the Cowboys are sitting well on offence. We’ve all seen throughout the league how important a kicker is to the win/loss total just ask the Indianapolis Colts, who lost their first game because of the points left on the field and could easily have lost the second due to the same kicking woes.
Kellen Moore – Oh how the doubters need to eat their words, Moore is showing the NFL just how football intelligent he is, implementing a mix of college concepts and pre-snap moves and misdirections whilst still running a lot of the same plays as last year. If he keeps this up then we will probably have the most sought after Offensive Coach come the end of the season, and possibly the most sought after defensive coach with Kris Richard.
Now talking about the defensive side of the ball, there is a worry from myself over these first two games of the season for my Cowboys. The defense hasn’t really shown itself and might struggle when we get to the harder games down the schedule such as the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots to name a few.
The reason I’m worried at the moment and it’s only mildly worried is the lack of penetration and sacks with only 2 sacks recorded in the 2 games so far
- 1 sack for Tyrone Crawford
- 0.5 sacks for Demarcus Lawrence
- 0.5 sacks for Leighton Vander Esch
We need to ensure that we are getting this pressure up front as at times the New York Giants and Washington Redskins have looked good against our defense and frankly there is no way that the giants should have been allowed to score 17 points or the Redskins 21 points as both of those teams last TD’s should have been defended better.
I know they were basically scored in garbage time but did you see the Patriots letting up and letting the Miami Dolphins score in garbage time yesterday, NO, you didn’t and we need to be that ruthless on defense to match the ruthlessness that we are seeing on the offense at the moment.
Overall though if you’re a Cowboys fan you have got to be happy, undefeated through two games and sitting on a 2-0 start, Dak slinging the ball around and looking great while doing it, the o-line protecting him so far only 1 sack for 8 yards, the receivers doing great and Zeke looking like Zeke. My personal favourite is seeing Witten coming back to the club and getting a TD in each of the first 2 games.
Week 3 sees the Cowboys take on the 0-2 Dolphins and let’s not look too deeply we should win this comfortably with the Dolphins having been outscored 102/10 in the first 2 games.
I see the Cowboys putting at least 37 points up (only saying 37 and not higher as I think we will save Dak and put Rush in on the 4th quarter) and our defense should improve posting sacks and interceptions galore. We do have ex Dolphin Robert Quinn available so hopefully he will have an immediate impact and record a sack.
Dallas Cowboys 42 – Miami Dolphins 6