The Cowboys are now 4-3 on the season after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas is now in control of the NFC East. Here are five things learned from week 7.
1. Changing up the Playcalling Worked
It was clear to most football fans that the Cowboys couldn’t just continue to run on virtually every first down. The Cowboys also weren’t running play-action and weren’t giving Dak Prescott many chances to throw the ball downfield. That all changed on Sunday night, to no one’s surprise besides maybe the Cowboys themselves.
Kellen Moore changing the playcalling up benefitted everyone on offense. Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He hit Blake Jarwin for a wide-open touchdown pass off of play-action Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown. Amari Cooper had five catches for 106 yards. Because of these players, the Cowboys scored 37 points and walked away with an easy victory.
2. This Team can Force Turnovers
Dallas wasn’t forcing many turnovers in their first six games of the season. This game showed how dominant they can be if they do force turnovers. They forced and recovered three fumbles. Xavier Woods chipped in with an interception. If the Cowboys can do this more consistently, the sky is the limit for this team.
Getting pressure on the quarterback was the name of the game for Dallas, as they forced two Carson Wentz fumbles. Dallas seems like a team that can continually pressure quarterbacks and force turnovers. Hopefully, this game will give them the confidence to do so more often.
3. Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence can be a Great Pass Rushing Duo
Cris Collinsworth noted on Sunday Night Football just how good the Cowboys could get after the quarterback with Robert Quinn on one side and DeMarcus Lawrence on the other. He was right, as each had a sack in this game. Philadelphia has a solid offensive line, which made it more impressive for the two defensive ends.
Lawrence made a few moves that made Eagles’ right tackle Lane Johnson look inexperienced, even though he is one of the best tackles in football. One of those moves resulted in the sack-fumble on Carson Wentz. Quinn has played just five games with the team and already has six sacks. The duo will make the rest of the season a lot of fun for Dallas fans.
4. Jourdan Lewis Makes Plays
Earlier in the season, the Cowboys were looking for players from their secondary to make plays. The last few weeks Jourdan Lewis has stepped up. In week 6, he had an interception against Jets. This week, he had four tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss.
The Cowboys will need Lewis to keep on making plays like this. In the last few games, Lewis has shown good coverage skills and the ability to blitz off the edge. Keeping him active and engaged on defense will only make the team as a whole better.
5. This Team Needs to Stay Healthy
Depth could be an issue for this team, as when the injuries started piling up, they started losing. Now that some of their injured players returned, they were able to dominate the Eagles. Over the last few weeks, Tyron Smith, Amari Cooper, La’el Collins and more have missed time, which has limited the effectiveness of the team.
When fully healthy, the team has a chance to compete. When they aren’t they’ll have to grind out games. A healthy team results in a good receiving core, a great offensive line and a potential great pass rushing duo (since Quinn came back from injury).