Posted on October 14, 2018, by Travis Pulver
There were not many who believed the Dallas Cowboys had a shot at beating the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon. Yes, Dallas can run the ball well and the Jags are not great at stopping the run. But since the Dallas pass game is so bad, the assumption was that the Jags would stack the box to shut down Ezekiel Elliot.
Since they could do that and probably still limit Prescott in the passing game, the Jags would still be in good shape. But things didn’t quite go as expected.
For the first time this season, the Dallas offense looked like what the Cowboys Brain Trust likely envisioned—run, run, and run some more with just enough passing mixed in to keep the defense honest.
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Between Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot (and a few runs by Tavon Austin and Rod Smith), the Cowboys ran for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Elliot ran for 106 and Prescott had a career-high 82 with each scoring a touchdown.
When asked about his running after the game, Prescott had this to say:
“It just opened everything up. Some of it was called runs and read options. The end game was to read keep it and a lot them were just man-to-man protections and man-to-man coverage. The protection was solid. I was able to get out of the pocket and make them pay. It opened everything up for our offense.”
With the running game working well and Prescott hitting his receivers when he needed to, the Cowboys were able to get out to a 24-0 lead at the half. Blake Bortles connected with Dede Westbrook on their second drive of the third quarter on a 34-yard touchdown pass to get the Jags on the board. But the Dallas defense shut them out the rest of the way.
The Cowboys tacked on another 16 points in the second half to make the final 40-7.
Cole Beasley was Prescott’s favorite target with 11 throws coming his way. He caught nine for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
“Maybe it was a little social media action that got me pumped, and also game plan,” Beasley said after the game. “Knowing I had a lot of opportunities, I was ready to go.”
Prescott connected with nine receivers on the night. But next to Beasley, only tight end Geoff Swaim had more than one catch (he had two). Prescott was 17-27 on the night for 183 yards and two touchdowns; 151 of his total came in the first half.
“It’s definitely the best we’ve played from executing on offense and taking advantage of when the defense is giving us turnovers and good field position,” Prescott said after the game.
The team’s under-rated defense had a solid day. They sacked Blake Bortles three times, forced two turnovers, and held the Jags to just 204 yards on offense.
Cowboys fans will hope that their team can have a similar game when it plays the Washington Redskins next week. Jags fans will hope their team can have a better outing against the Houston Texans.