ARLINGTON – The Dallas Cowboys offense once again lived up to pre-regular season expectations by showing off its explosiveness and high impact to add one more victory after beating the Carolina Panthers.
Even, it is likely that in the eyes of many, some of their players perform above the standards expected of them, such as running back Ezekiel Elliott or cornerback Trevon Diggs.
The Cowboys defeated Panthers 36-28 with a strong dose of runs with Elliott and with a Dak Prescott who distributed the ball among his receivers, albeit with discreet numbers, and another excellent duel by Diggs, who was confirmed as the leader in interceptions in the NFL so far by getting the fifth on his account.
The offense should no longer surprise many, not even the way coordinator Kellen Moore has found a way to capitalize on all of his backfield players and receivers.
Nor should it be very novel that Prescott plays by the note, without making mistakes or the inaccuracies that he used to have in the early years of his career. Against the Panthers at AT&T Stadium, before 93,262 fans, he threw for 188 yards, which was enough to add four touchdowns to four different receivers: Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, however, who actually scored territory from Elliott, who continues his solid start to the season, was the starter, after several of his detractors claimed he was finished after falling within 21 yards of 1,000 with “only” 10 touchdowns last season, behind an offensive line he lost. three of the five starters all year.
Against Carolina, Elliott rushed for 146 yards in 20 runs and scored a touchdown behind an offensive line that he no longer remembers the suspended La’el Collins, because his replacement, Terence Steele, has done a very good job.
Elliott is versatile and has better recognition of defensive maneuvers and blocks to aid his offensive line. The change of pace was marked again by Tony Pollard in the Texas attack.
The Cowboys had 433 total yards against the Panthers, who came to Arlington as leaders in all major defensive team statistics departments, except for points allowed, where they came in second.
“(The Panthers) have a good defense,” Elliott said. “They have many ways to position their front, they execute different things and change them on the fly, but they had not seen an offense like ours either.”
Perhaps what should sound strange is that the Cowboys add several interceptions. Diggs, who was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in September, added two against Carolina and reached five in four games to confirm himself as the league leader and become the first in the franchise to intercept as many passes in the first four. campaign games since 1970.
Another big difference is that the defense puts pressure on and captures the opposing quarterback. Although he had a good game with 301 passing yards, two touchdown passes to DJ Moore and scoring twice on the ground, Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold was knocked down five times behind the line.
“The guys in front (defensive line) are doing a great job and that makes mine easier, Diggs said after the game. “I feel like it helps me finish my readings with my key men. I just try to play at a high level and try to help win.
Perhaps the two biggest differences that have led the Cowboys to three straight wins after losing in Week 1 by two points to Tampa Bay is the adjustability of the defensive coordinator and the energy with which his group plays.
The Panthers converted three of their first four third down chances in the first half. Afterwards, they could no longer convert to a first and 10 the next seven times they were in that situation.
“The defenders are playing very strong and with great communication,” acknowledged Mike McCarthy, coach of the Cowboys. “This was a game in which we noticed the difference when we started to put in good pressure. We had not pushed well this year. I actually liked the way it flowed and the competitiveness.
“We had a lot of adjustments and the guys and coaches are doing a great job,” he added.
The Cowboys will close the stay of three consecutive games at home next Sunday against another of their divisional rivals, the New York Giants.
“We knew from the beginning that you had to win fast (in the season) after all the problems we had last year,” McCarthy said. “It is very important that we take advantage of these three games early at home to establish ourselves in the division.”