The Cowboys are now 6-4 on the season after beating the Detroit Lions. Dallas is in control of the NFC East. Here are five things learned from week 11.
1. Dak is Leading the Team
Dallas has had some good games and some headscratchers this season. This was one of their good ones. Their playcalling was a lot better than in past weeks and Dak Prescott took advantage. He passed for 444 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions, as he led the team to victory.
For the rest of the season, the Cowboys need to air the ball out. Prescott has proven to be able to make plays. Throwing the football should help set up running the ball, as that has been an issue for the Cowboys recently. Prescott has four 400-yard passing games this season now, meaning he should be trusted more.
2. Tony Pollard Needs to be Used More
Tony Pollard with the pretty after-the-catch run to give the Cowboys the lead! pic.twitter.com/DH2oU9Y1CJ
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) November 17, 2019
It was mentioned on the broadcast that the Cowboys were trying to find different ways to use Tony Pollard. They hadn’t used him over the last few games, but wanted to get a change of pace and give Ezekiel Elliot a break. The Cowboys got Pollard involved in the gameplan this week. He had 56 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Pollard only had two rushes for 12 yards, but helped out in the passing game. Going forward, the Cowboys need to continue to find ways to get Pollard involved. With Elliot struggling to find running room, it couldn’t hurt.
3. Michael Gallup is Developing
In a game where Amari Cooper had just three catches for 38 yards, Michael Gallup stepped up to lead the team in receiving. He finished the game with 148 receiving yards on nine catches. While he failed to find the end zone, Gallup had a huge day that included some highlight-reel catches. If he hadn’t played well, Dallas may not have been able to win.
The impressive thing was that Darius Slay didn’t strictly cover Cooper all game and Gallup was able to beat him a few times. Gallup demonstrated good route-running, good hands and showed a lot of his potential. Giving Prescott options down the stretch will be vitally important.
4. The Defense Needs Some Work
It should’ve been an easy win for the Cowboys with the Lions being without Matthew Stafford. Dallas was unable to run away with the game and that is mostly on the defense. They allowed backup Jeff Driskel to throw for 209 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys also allowed former teammate Bo Scarbrough to lead a Lions’ rushing attack that totaled 121 yards.
To go with the struggles stopping the Lions, the Cowboys also did not force any turnovers. This is something that has been hurting the team all season long. With a backup quarterback and a running back who was just signed off the practice squad this week, Dallas should have been able to force multiple turnovers.
5. The Defensive Line Can Get Pressure
A few weeks ago the Cowboys acquired Michael Bennett to add to their defensive line. The move has seemingly paid off, as the defensive line is generating some pressure. Bennett had one sack and two tackles for loss in this game. Robert Quinn one sack and two tackles for loss.
DeMarcus Lawrence’s play has generated a lot of criticism this year, but his presence helps the other players on the line, as he attracts double teams. Even though it doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet, Lawrence helps the team. He did add a tackle for loss in the game. The trio should lead a talented defensive line to productivity the rest of the season.