Dallas Gamble Pays Off

Amari Cooper

The Cowboys sat Dak Prescott for Sunday Night Football. It is hard to puzzle out why. In pre-game warmups he looked GREAT! He did not look like the man who walked off the field two weeks ago in a walking boot. So why sit him? Well, it doesn’t matter now because the Cowboys won against a gritty, yet faltering Vikings squad.

Sunday night’s game was a coming out party for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. He took a backup quarterback and made him look like a five-year veteran. Cooper Rush finished the game with 24 completions out of 40 attempts for 325 yards two touchdowns and one interception. The Vikings stoned the Cowboy run game, so Rush had to perform for the Cowboys to have a shot at scoring points Sunday night. The run game was held to just 78 yards. Cooper Rush targeted eight receivers and connected with seven. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb were his go to guys as they should have been. Yet enough cannot be said for Moore’s play calling Sunday Night. One of his pinnacle moments was calling fellow Boise State Alum Cedric Wilson’s number to throw a 35-yard bomb to set up a field goal to tie the game late in the 3rd quarter. It was the best throw of the night! There is something special about a Boise State offensive coordinator trusting Wilson, the third receiver, to make a key play in a crucial moment, especially knowing that the play could break down, which it did. Wilson had to scramble while CeeDee Lamb worked for depth to get open eventually catching the 35-yard strike from Wilson. It was a well-executed trick play.

Amari Cooper

Coach Moore was not afraid to trust his quarterback. He kept dialing up pass play after pass play, taking advantage of the weak points in the Viking defense. No one would have faulted Moore for going conservative with a backup quarterback under center. No one would have faulted him for playing it safe. However, Moore wasn’t there to try not to lose. He was tasked with getting the win. Moore never lost confidence in Cooper Rush, thus allowing Rush to sling it when he needed to. When Tyron Smith went down, Coach Moore didn’t flinch. He changed his pass protection up and the Cowboy’s kept on humming. Sure, there were break downs and a few punts, but ultimately the Cowboys offense was able to keep the game close by scoring when it needed to. The culminating event was the Cowboy’s last drive. True to form there was excellent play calling by Coach Moore as well as a bit of luck. It’s good to have both if you want to win in this league. The second play of the drive almost ended in disaster as Cooper Rush lasered the ball at Amari Cooper. The ball, went through Amari’s hands, bounced off of Beshaud Breelands chest, and back into Amari’s arms for a 33-yard first down reception. Cowboys fans around the globe went from screaming “OH NO” to “OH YES” as they watched the ball bounce around and then eventually settle safely into Cooper’s mitts as he snagged it. The rest is history. As fate would have it, Cooper Rush connected with Amari Cooper for a difficult 5-yard touchdown reception to get the go ahead score. This eleven-play drive ate the clock and left only 51 seconds on the clock for the Vikings offense to score a touchdown. I wasn’t worried. It wasn’t Aaron Rodgers under center, it was Kirk Cousins.

The Cowboys defense played very well on the road in a hostile environment. They held Kirk Cousins to 184 yards through the air and only one touchdown. Sadly, Trevon Diggs was unable to snag his eighth interception of the season. Despite that, the Cowboys defensive line harried Cousins for all 60 minutes allowing Randy Gregory to collect his fifth sack of the season. Surprisingly, the Cowboys allowed Micah Parsons to play his natural position as a linebacker wherein he led the team with 11 tackles, including four which were tackles for losses. The Cowboys defense’s one weakness was the run game. Yet, they only allowed 101 yards, holding Dalvin Cook to just 78 yards total. All in all it was a great performance, allowing only one touchdown the whole game. The Cowboys defense is hitting their stride and it’s not even midway through the season yet.

Dallas gambled on Sunday night, and it paid off. They got a gritty win on the road. They were able to rest Dak for one more week. More rest is a good thing when calf muscles are involved. The Cowboys didn’t surrender their shot at a first round bye to Tampa Bay considering how Tampa lost to New Orleans earlier in the afternoon. The Cowboys are now flying high at 6-1. See them next week at Jerry World as they take on the Broncos.

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