After the Dallas Cowboys dominating 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars we break down our four takeaways from the game that gave the Cowboys their first 3-0 home start since 1999.
- Defense, Defense, Defense
Pure domination. There’s no other way to put it. The defense shut out the Jags in the first half for the second time this season allowing just three first downs and 64 yards. They came away with two turnovers on the day as well as notching three sacks. The linebacker duo of rookie Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith continue their strong play notching 13 tackles between the two. On the day the defense allowed ten first downs and 204 yards on 47 plays.
2. Offense Shows Life
Despite having to settle for four field goals including two in the red zone the offense looked it’s best today. Wide receiver Cole Beasley found the end zone for the first time since last November hauling in two on nine catches for 101 yards. Quarterback Dak Prescott had his most efficient game of the season going 17-of-27 for 183 yards and two touchdowns while adding 82 yards and one touchdown on the ground. The leagues rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott continued his strong season rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Finally to round out the unit the offensive line dominate the line of scrimmage on the ground opening holes for 206 yards and 4.9 yards per carry. However, the pass blocking is a different story surrendering three sacks, two of which came to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
3. Dan Bailey Who?
Okay maybe I shouldn’t let one strong game take away from the storied career of the most accurate kicker in league history but the undrafted rookie from Nebraska certainly helped his chances. Brett Maher went a perfect 4-of-4 including a 55-yarder, the third longest field goal in stadium history. He has also hit his last 14 kicks after a rough start to the season. With the red zone woes still in effect, he will need to continue his strong play moving forward.
4. Jeff Heath
For the second straight week, Heath has impressed me. Despite only making two tackles he had a nice interception off of a deflection that set the Cowboys up in the red zone. Heath, in my opinion, never gets the credit he deserves. He’s as solid of a defensive back as they have and makes plays every game even if it’s just sound tackling. He also made a couple of third-down stops today. I’m not saying that he’s at the level of former Cowboy and current Jag Barry Church but he’s on his way.