Game Review: Huge day for Prescott leads to crucial win

The Cowboys needed this 35-27 win against the Detroit Lions big time. They lost last week’s tie against the Vikings in excruciating fashion, with bad play calling at the end ruining a good comeback. There were no such issues in this game, with the offensive staff having learned to put their trust in star QB Zak Prescott. This offensive unit is transitioning into one where the pass sets up the run, not the other way around.

Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

Prescott didn’t disappoint with 444 yards and three touchdowns. He took advantage of a comfortable pocket to continually find his playmakers. Big plays led to touchdown throws to Randall Cobb, Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott, with the latter adding another on the ground.

Michael Gallup and Cobb both had over 100 yards receiving, with Gallup being Prescott’s go-to receiver in this game. Amari Cooper again had issues that restricted his playing time, and even though he only had 38 yards, each of his grabs was crucial.

There were some key errors that could have derailed the Cowboys. Cobb had two big drops, Elliott fumbled and the defense was unable to stop the Lions’ offense. This game could have easily gone the other way, with Elliott fumbling on the second play of the game, and the Jeff Driskel-led Lions taking five plays to go from the Dallas 28-yard line to score. The TD was run in by ex-Cowboy Bo Scarbrough, who only signed with the Lions a couple of weeks before. Once again the Dallas defense struggled against the run and it was worse having a Dallas old boy player gash them in the early stages.

Credit: Daniel Mears/Detroit News

Dallas didn’t get much success from their own ground game, with Elliott only averaging 2.8 yards per carry. However, they found new ways of getting success, with some short passes to Pollard going for good yardage.

The Lions put up a good fight and Driskel played well again in defeat, making big plays when needed and some key runs that the Cowboys just couldn’t cover. He finished with 209 yards passing and two touchdowns, as well as 51 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. He now has 88 yards rushing in his first two starts filling in for Matthew Stafford; not Lamar Jackson numbers but he has shown what he can do with his legs and these two defeats haven’t been on Driskel’s shoulders by any means.

Key players

  • Dak Prescott – 29-of-46 for 444 yards for three TDs. Prescott took over this game and consistently found receivers while escaping from pressure and making key plays with his legs.
  • Michael Gallup – nine receptions for 148 yards with a long of 41 yards. With Amari Cooper limited in this game, Gallup became Prescott’s go- to guy and he didn’t disappoint
  • Zeke Elliott – 16 carries for 45 yards, and one TD touchdown, two receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown. Elliott found different ways to contribute, making key blocks as well as scoring two touchdowns.

The Cowboys were able to overcome their slow start in this game and, after a 21-point second quarter, went into the half with a 10-point lead at 24-14. With a field goal and a touchdown in the second half, the Cowboys were able to close out this game to move to 6-4. With the Eagles losing against the Patriots, the Cowboys now have a one-game lead in the NFC East.

The Cowboys will take on the Patriots next week and this is their biggest game left on their schedule. If the Cowboys can pull off the win in New England, it will go a long way to ensuring the Cowboys get into the postseason.

Featured Picture – Credit: Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News

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