The Cowboys have played good football and are now 3-0 on the season. They haven’t played the toughest teams yet, but the important thing is that they are winning. Here are five things learned from week 3.
1. Dak is Taking Chances
In the third game of the season, Dak Prescott threw some questionable passes, one of which was intercepted by Bobby McCain. Prescott was already in the midst of a great two-game stretch to start the season, but was getting some criticism for his play against the Dolphins.
Prescott finished with a stat line of 19/32 for 246 yards and two touchdowns to go with the one interception. He also ran in a touchdown. The Cowboys clearly took some chances in this game because of their opponent and that’s fine, especially because they won 31-6. Look for Prescott to protect the ball more in week 4.
2. Zeke Will be Rested in Blowouts
This seems like a logical thing that every team should do, but not every team rests their starters in blowouts. For running backs especially, it is imperative to limit the wear and tear on their bodies. The Cowboys did just that against the Dolphins, as they limited him to 19 carries.
Limiting Elliot late in the game is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Backup Tony Pollard got some good reps in with 13 carries and he produced with a good touchdown run. With Elliot already missing the preseason and getting rested late in games, he should be fresh down the stretch for a possible playoff run. If the Cowboys are smart, they will continue to give Elliot some rest in blowout games.
3. Amari Cooper is on Fire
Anyone who thought that Cooper and Prescott would be one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos after an offseason to work together has been proven right so far. In this game, Cooper totaled 6 catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper, Prescott and Elliot look well on their way to establishing the new set of “Triplets” for Cowboys fans.
His stats from Sunday add to a great season for Cooper. He has 16 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns in his career. With Cooper playing this well, it really opens up the offense for other playmakers in the coming weeks.
4. The Defense Still has Work to do
The defense did great to only allow the Dolphins to score six points on Sunday. Holding an opponent for two field goals will usually result in a win. It did for the Cowboys on Sunday, but they need to start getting more production in a few stats. They aren’t sacking the quarterback enough or forcing enough turnovers yet.
Dallas forced one turnover against Miami, as they caused a Kenyan Drake forced fumble. They had three sacks in the game, which is solid, but with how depleted Miami’s offense line is, they could’ve done better. In tougher games down the road, they’ll have to force more turnovers and get more pressure on quarterbacks to win.
5. Robert Quinn Still has Some Left in the Tank
One of Dallas’ key offseason additions was defensive end Robert Quinn. He was recovering from an injury and didn’t play in the first two weeks, but did play against his former team this week. Quinn was one of the players who got pressure on Miami quarterback with one sack. He was close on a few others.
If Quinn can keep getting after the quarterback, the defense can be even better this season. With DeMarcus Lawrence on one side and Quinn on the other, the Cowboys could generate some real pressure. Quinn’s play over the next few weeks will be something to watch.