It appears the Dallas Cowboys took their bye week very seriously. On first glance, the team needed a couple snaps to get themselves in rhythm. The Cowboys started with the ball and Dak Prescott was taken down on his first three dropbacks. However an illegal contact on the second sack gave the club a new set of downs and the next sack was not enough to derail the oncoming train.
Dallas finished that drive in the end zone and the rout was on. The Cowboys raced out to a 30-point first-half lead, the largest deficit of Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay’s career. And while the Rams were able to score bookending the break, there was little doubt to this game as Dak Prescott painted a masterpiece with four passing touchdowns to augment the stellar effort by both the defense and special teams. Dallas opened the second half of their schedule with a decisive 43-20 victory.
It was over when...
… Cornerback DaRon Bland broke cleanly on a Matt Stafford pass to the left sideline, picking it off and racing to the end zone. It was Bland’s third Pick-Six in just seven games this season. Overall Bland now has nine interceptions since being inserted into the starting lineup midway through 2022, leading the league since that point.
The score stretched the lead to 17-3 and the Cowboys were on their way to a 26-3 lead in the next couple minutes thanks to more defensive and special teams magic.
Game Ball No. 1: QB Dak Prescott
Prescott was pulled from the game in the fourth quarter, after a job well done.
He finished the game completing 25 of his 31 attempts, breaking the 300-yard barrier (304) for the first time in the 2023 season. His four touchdowns came with the smallest of blemishes, a red-zone interception that came after a defensive lineman tipped a pass that went off the hands of TE Sean McKeon.
Other than that, Prescott was dealing. It was his seventh game with at least 300 passing yards and four passing touchdown, a team record.
Game Ball No. 2: WR CeeDee Lamb
Lamb has been frustrated with his involvement in the offense and the last two games has proven he’s been more than right. Lamb caught all seven of his targets in the 20-17 win before the break, but his involvement was true No. 1 receiver level in this game.
Lamb caught 12 receptions, a career high, on 14 targets, going for 128 yards and two scores. He even checked in with a 12-yard carry to give him 14 total yards on the day.
Game Ball No. 3: Edge Micah Parsons
Parsons was relentless getting to QB Matt Stafford on the day. His first sack came on a third down, and he almost got a second; a strip sack that was overturned on replay. His pressure hurt Stafford’s thumb, which eventually sat the QB down for the day.
Overall Parsons had three QB hits and a pass deflection to go along with the sack.
Key Stat: 80.6
That was Dak Prescott’s completion percentage in this game, his third contests above 80% in seven games in the new Texas Coast Offense.
Outside of the struggles in trying to comeback against the 49ers, Prescott has been tremendous in protecting the football this season, the biggest thing McCarthy wanted to work on.