Making his second career start, quarterback Cooper Rush moved to 2-0 orchestrating a game-winning drive, helping Dallas beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow despite being sacked six times led his team to 14 second-half points including a 19-play 83-yard drive that took over 8 minutes to tie the game. Unbothered and with one timeout, Rush led Dallas to fringe field goal range and kicker Brett Maher drilled the kick from 50 yards as time expired.
Below are the four biggest takeaways from tonight’s game.
Defense Came to Play
Give credit to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and his unit for making life tuff for the Bengals. Micah Parsons and Dorrance Armstrong lived in the backfield and they held Bengals running back Joe Mixon to 57 yards on 19 carries. The secondary also did their part holding Burrow to under 200 yards and limiting star receiver Jamar Chase to 54 yards on nine targets. Most impressively was the ability to get the late-game stop after playing most of the second half. A statement game from the unit that it can build on moving forward.
Rush Answers the Bell
This time last week Cowboys fans thought the season was a loss and that tonight’s game would prove it. Instead fresh off the practice squad Rush answered the challenge throwing for over 230 yards and leading Dallas to the win. Now the question becomes if he can keep up this play for an extended period after playing well in his 8 quarters of starting action.
Brown Shows Life
Receiver Noah Brown has been forgotten in some circles but made a statement tonight leading Dallas with five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. At 6’2 225-pounds he is a big, physical receiver that is counted on in the absence of Michael Gallup. Perhaps his biggest victory was helping CeeDee Lamb get open helping the offense as a whole. Dallas needs more games from Brown like this moving forward.
Complete Team Effort
Very rarely do all three units play well in the same game but that happened tonight. From the defense to the emergence of playmakers on offense and the punt return game on special teams the Cowboys turned in a complete effort that is needed moving forward if they hope to keep pace in the playoff hunt with star quarterback Dak Prescott out.