Studs & Duds: Micah has monstrous day, Dak of Lamb delicious in big win over Jets

The talk all week leading up to the Cowboys’ home opener was the formidable Jets defense. But after Sunday’s game went final, the most impressive thing about the unit was how long they spent on the field. The Cowboys held the ball for nearly three full quarters in a 30-10 romp and were once again dominant in all three phases of the game.

While it was the Cowboys’ biggest stars who shone the brightest at AT&T Stadium, fans will be asking questions about a few aspects of the afternoon that were less than spectacular. One former playmaker, for instance, has all but disappeared from the game plan, and the offensive playcalling left more than a few points on the field.

Here’s a look at Week 2’s studs and duds.

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Stud: WR CeeDee Lamb

On a day when he served as a team captain, Lamb was red-hot against Gang Green. He reeled in 11 catches to match his career high and finished the day with 143 receiving yards, his third-best outing as a pro. The fourth-year veteran has clearly taken his connection with Dak Prescott to a new level this season, though he missed out on an easy first touchdown of 2023 after Prescott didn’t see Lamb wide open in the corner of the end zone in the third quarter.

Dud: WR Michael Gallup

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After declaring himself finally fully back from that torn ACL suffered at the end of the 2021 campaign, Gallup has become the starting offense’s invisible man. The former third-round draft pick has caught just two passes thus far this season; more troubling is that Prescott has given him just four total targets. The fact that he couldn’t turn in more than one reception for three yards on a day when Brandin Cooks was inactive is one of Week 2’s few- but legitimate- disappointments.

Stud: LB Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons may need to pick a different animal to compare himself to, because calling himself a mere lion just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Here’s what he did in the Cowboys’ home opener: four QB hits, three tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble that he also recovered, defending a pass, and causing one of Zach Wilson’s three interceptions on the day. What does that make Parsons? A T-Rex? A minotaur? A dragon? He’s playing at a mythological level right now.

Dud: Red-zone playcaller Mike McCarthy

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to look askance at a second straight outing of over 30 points, but McCarthy’s offense stalled in the red zone on too many occasions and ranged from uninspired to too cute several times on Sunday. (That called goal-line run to Peyton Hendershot? Ew.) Sure, they held onto the ball for over 42 minutes, but four of the team’s five field goals came from 35 yards or closer. That means the Cowboys saw four drives fizzle out after crossing the Jets’ 20. New York’s defense was as stout as advertised, but it’s McCarthy’s own fault Dallas had three three-and-outs and didn’t score 50-plus.

Stud: QB Dak Prescott

Weather and an early lead kept Prescott in first gear last week, but he floored it early against the Jets. The two-time Pro Bowler completed his first 13 passes, a career high for him. He ended the win with an 81.5 completion percentage; he’s recorded just five games with a better mark. His two touchdown throws on Sunday were nice, but the fact that one of the NFL’s top defenses wasn’t able to pick him — after snatching three off Josh Allen last week — was huge in the Week 2 win and bodes well moving forward.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire