The Dallas Cowboys bid farewell, and all eyes were on them.
Who were this team, and should we believe in them? They might not have silenced all the critics, but for this week, they were outstanding. Their 43-20 demolition of the Los Angeles Rams was a complete football game.
Dak Prescott and CD Lamb were the stars, but all phases of the game contributed to the victory, creating a 5-2 record for the season.
The Cowboys’ defense made a destructive start. The substitute left tackle, Terence Steele, dominated Agoga in the opening game.
It appeared that Dak Prescott might be benched once again, but an illegal contact penalty on the Rams resulted in a first down for Dallas. Then, Aaron Donald promptly sacked Prescott.
The Cowboys’ aggressive line was doing its job. Everything changed when CD Lamb made an exceptional catch with plenty of yards after the catch, turning it into an 18-yard gain.
From there, Michael Gallup made a toe-tapping reception for the first down, and Jake Ferguson grabbed a beautiful catch for a touchdown.
What appeared to be a disastrous start turned into a touchdown drive.
The Cowboys’ defense bent but didn’t break in the following possession. After giving up some yards, the Rams were within the red zone, but cornerback Darian Blaylock intercepted the ball and brought it back to the 18-yard line.
From there, Michael Gallup made an impressive toe-tap catch for the first down. The Rams were trailing 7-3.
CD Lamb had a big advantage to start the next drive with a tipped pass by Darion Blaylock. The Cowboys’ aggressive line was humming.
A sack by Aaron Donald had the Rams facing a long third down. However, Brandon ‘Automatic’ O’Brien converted a 58-yard field goal, leaving plenty of room.
Then, Darian Blaylock did what Darian Blaylock does, picking off Matthew Stafford for a touchdown. Cooper Kupp’s quick out was caught, but the Rams missed the extra point. The Cowboys were up 17-3.
The Rams tried to make a comeback in the second quarter, but Mika Parsons stopped them on third down with a tackle for loss. The Cowboys didn’t complete the drive. Sam Williams stopped the punt and took it out of bounds for safety. Dallas extended their lead to 19-3 and had the ball.
On the next possession, Kavontae Turpin returned the ball to the Rams’ 13-yard line, 63 yards away. Prescott eventually connected with CD Lamb for a touchdown. Memane had to throw in some good runs, with the rest being filled.
The Rams had two possessions to catch up, but Prescott dealt with the pressure and struck CD Lamb for the first time.
Turpin caught another pass for a third-down conversion. As Dallas entered the red zone, everything seemed promising. However, Prescott forced a pass into traffic, which had been warned twice.
The Rams had an interception. This was the first significant mistake of the Cowboys’ game. When Parsons had a strip tackle that Jordan Lewis recovered, the Dallas defense pushed the Rams back to third place.
They managed to earn another run for the offense. The only thing the Cowboys didn’t do well was the running game. They had some good runs, but most were stuffed. The Rams had two possessions to catch up,
but Prescott faced a blitz and struck CD Lamb for the first time, striking an incredible 35-yard gain. At 33-3, Dallas had struck again.
Before halftime, the Rams eventually discovered some offensive success with Tutu Atwell behind the long pass. The Rams were capable of punching with a punch, but Demarcus Lawrence thwarted a two-point conversion attempt, making the score 33-9 by halftime.
The Cowboys’ first half was spot on.
Dak Prescott was in full control, managing the offense with precision, and both real and fake audibles were on display. The scrimmage line was under control, and the defense contributed both directly and indirectly to the score. It was quite a show.
The Rams started the second half with a well-executed drive behind a lengthy back screen play and power runs by Royce Freeman. They scored touchdowns in the third and sixth rounds, and suddenly it was a two-possession game. The Cowboys needed to respond.
Then Kavonte Turpin made a mistake on the kickoff return, taking it deep into the end zone and only making it to the 16-yard line.
Prescott was tasked with taking the team out from that hole, and suddenly, he was facing a third-and-third situation from deep in Dallas territory. Turpin made another mistake, a bad start, which set them back to third and eighth.
Prescott used his legs to move the chains in the first game, but after two games, he finished the third and ninth games.
Lamb fell inches shy of the crucial first down, prompting Dallas to take the gamble. Prescott calmly found CeeDee Lamb with a 36-17 lead for a chip shot FG. This drive was long, consuming much of the third quarter.
The Rams had been pounding Matthew Stafford throughout the game, and his thumb was injured, so eventually, they brought in Brett Rypien. The Rams altered their drive to keep it alive, converting the fourth and second game.
Then they had another fourth and a chance for a pass that went awry, which signaled the end of any competitive aspect of the game.
For good measure, Prescott started the fourth quarter with a 43-17 score, throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.
Dallas had an almost 88-yard touchdown return from Turpin’s punt, but it was nullified due to a great tackle by NaShawn Wright, which pinned him in the end zone. Then the Cowboys turned the game towards Cooper Rush.
At the end of the game, there was an issue with Chuma Edoga’s injury. His knees were bent, and he had to be taken off the field in a car. Asim Richards played most of the fourth quarter as the left tackle.
All in all, it was a rollercoaster game with ups and downs for both teams, but the Cowboys ultimately came out on top with a convincing victory.