Wild Win at Gillette

Wild Win at Gillette.jpg

What a wild win at Gillette Stadium on Sunday! This game was easily one of the most entertaining games of the season. It ended with a dramatic walk off touchdown score by CeeDee Lamb in overtime. Let’s be honest, 115 yards in penalties, 2 turnovers in the endzone, and settling for field goal attempts instead of touchdowns are normally a recipe for disaster on the road. Dak and the Cowboys offense found a way to win despite numerous hiccups throughout the game. The majority of the first half was marred by missed opportunities for the Cowboy offense. They were stoned on a fourth and one early in the game on their own 34-yard line. The Patriots promptly scored on the short field in only four plays. Then, the Cowboys drove into the red-zone on three different occasions, turned the ball over twice and had to settle for a field goal on a third possession when CJ Wilson had a catch in the endzone pulled away by Jonathon Jones. There would have been no need for overtime had the Cowboys simply executed in the endzone. Yet, despite all of that, the players of the game, Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, worked together to close this game out in overtime and get the thrilling win.

The fourth quarter was by far the most exciting quarter of this game. There were three lead changes and a tie. 27 points were scored in the fourth quarter alone. The Cowboys kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and defensive mistakes allowing the Patriots to hang around. Mac Jones is getting better every week. He also has some moxy. He threw a pick six to Trevon Diggs on one play then he threw a 74-yard touchdown right at Diggs the next offensive play. Digg’s pick six felt like a game winning dagger for Dallas. Jones showed courage throwing at Diggs again. It is safe to say Mac Jones is here to stay and will continue to get better.

The inconsistency continues for the Cowboys defense. They allowed rookie QB Mac Jones to lead his team to score 29 points. Sure, Trevon Diggs achieved a pick six, but he promptly allowed himself to be burned by Kendrick Bourne on an out and up play. Bourne raced into the endzone 74 yards later. Lack of communication by Diggs with the safety who overplayed the route after being so deep was the undoing of that defensive play. The defense did some great things today as well. Randy Gregory had two sacks and a forced fumble. They held the Patriots run game to 120 yards. Diggs got his 2nd pick six and seventh overall interception of the season. Ultimately the defense did enough. They stood tall when they needed to in overtime forcing a key fourth down and a punt.

The Cowboys running game was stalled for the first time in several weeks. Zeke was held to 69 yards on 17 carries. Pollard achieved 41 yards on 10 carries. They had the same average yard per carry. With some runs from Dak sprinkled in they were still able to get to 122 yards as a team for the game. Watching the game, it appeared the Patriots had specifically game planned to stop the run. What they did not account for was Dak’s ability to throw the ball. During his first drive, he hit 5 different receivers as he drove the offense in for six points. He ultimately connected with nine different receivers on Sunday. Ironically, his favorite receiver was second year man CeeDee Lamb who he connected with nine times for 149 yards and two touchdowns. CeeDee Lamb was clutch on Sunday. He caught several key 3rd down passes to convert for first downs. In over time he caught a key 3rd down conversion, and then he hauled in a 35 yarder for the game ending score. Cedric Wilson also bailed Dak out a few times with some clutch catches.

All in all the Cowboys passing game is a well-oiled machine. The best part of a team like this is when they find ways to win and still have things that they can tweak and work on. Dak connected 36 out of 51 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns but several of those misses were dropped balls. That could be cleaned up to make this team more ruthless and efficient. A couple were balls that Dak misfired on. That can be fine-tuned to take this team to another level. One of those misses was a redzone interception. You never want to see that happen under any circumstances. Dallas was 3 for 13 on 3rd down conversions. You would like to see that number closer to 50%. However, the Cowboys overcame the adversity and got the win.

Dallas was fortunate to get out of Gillette with a win despite their early struggles. I am sure that Dallas is thankful to have a leader like Dak, an offensive line that allowed no sacks in the face of that Patriots front seven, and playmakers like CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys will use the upcoming bye week to heal up and shore up the aforementioned deficiencies. Dak was seen in a walking boot at the end of the game. Hopefully he will be fine the next time the Cowboys hit the field. The long season continues!

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