The Dallas Cowboys came out victorious in their week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Although Dallas trailed for the majority of the game, they fought back to overcome a 20-point deficit. Plenty of things went wrong for the Cowboys early on, but a late-game surge put them on top.
The Cowboys didn’t play up to their potential, but a win is a win. Here are some key takeaways from their week 2 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.
Dak Prescott Deserves to be Paid
What a game from Dak Prescott! Losing big throughout the whole game, Prescott put the team on his back and put together some fantastic drives.
One drive in particular that stood out was late in the fourth quarter when Dallas was down by nine points with just 2:57 remaining in the game. Prescott and the Cowboys started that drive at their own 9-yard line.
He completed the drive going 5/7 for 71 yards and a rushing touchdown. When the Cowboys needed a score the most, Prescott led them down the field to cut the game to one score.
Even on his final drive after Dallas recovered the outside kick, nothing was given. The Cowboys still had to gain 20-25 yards to get in a comfortable range for Greg Zuerlein. As a result, Prescott delivered a 24-yard strike to rookie wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, that would result in a Zuerlein field goal.
Playing from behind is difficult and Prescott never gave up nor lost faith in the team.
“It was an incredible game to be a part of, but I think the team just showed their faith and resilience in each other,” said quarterback Prescott.
This was arguably the best game that Prescott has ever played in the NFL. He became the first player in NFL history to throw for 400+ yards and rush for three touchdowns. His 450 passing yards mark the third-most passing yards in his career and his 34 completions mark the second most. Prescott did all this while not having his two top offensive lineman due to injuries.
Prescott finished the day completing 34/47 passes for 450 yards and a touchdown.
The Defense is Worrisome
Like week 1, the Cowboys’ defense is not as solid as everyone thought they would be. Their pass rush is not playing up to their potential and the Cowboys’ secondary allows too many big plays.
Ryan looked too comfortable in the pocket and Dallas had a hard time getting pressure on him. He completed 24/36 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns.
The Cowboys allowed 29 points in the first half, which is the most for Dallas in a half since week 2 of 2008. Although the Cowboys had troubles holding onto the football in the first half, resulting in Atlanta starting in Dallas’ territory to begin their drive, they couldn’t stop Falcons’ wide receiver, Calvin Ridley.
Ridley had a monster game against Dallas. He finished the game with seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. In the first half, Ridley had the majority of his stats. He became the first player since Odell Beckham Jr., who did it in 2014 to record 80+ receiving yards and two touchdowns in the first half against the Cowboys.
Even though the Cowboys’ run defense played better in this matchup, only allowing 2.9 yards per carry to Todd Gurley, they have to blitz more and keep quarterbacks on their toes.
The biggest takeaway from this defense the past two games is the incapability of forcing turnovers.
The Cowboys need to find an answer on defense. With starting linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch and starting cornerback, Anthony Brown, both out for the foreseeable future, someone else has to step up and be a leader for this defense.
CeeDee Lamb is the Real Deal
Who would have thought that superstar college wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, would fall to Dallas at pick 17?
To kick off the 2020 season, Lamb has been Dallas’ most efficient wide receiver. In week 1, on a critical fourth-down late in the game, Prescott went to Lamb to try and get the first down.
In week 2, Prescott again went to Lamb late in the game. This time, he connected with Lamb for a 24-yard completion to eventually set up Zuerlein for the win.
Prescott and Lamb have already shown that their connection is something special.
“He’s a player that works hard, shows up, does the right thing and wants to make those plays. He wants the ball thrown to him in those critical situations,” said quarterback Prescott of Lamb.
Lamb became the second player in Cowboys history to record 100+ receiving yards in one of his first two NFL career games. The other Cowboys receiver was Cornell Burbage in 1987.
He would finish the game with six catches for 106 yards.
Although Lamb hasn’t gotten into the endzone yet in his young career, he shows to be a vital piece in Dallas’ offense.
Featured Image Courtesy of ClutchPoints
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