Dallas Cowboys: Five things we learned in Week Seven

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 22: Ezekiel Elliott
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 22: Ezekiel Elliott /

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of a huge win against the San Francisco 49ers. Here we will examine what we have learned about this team in Week Seven.

The Dallas Cowboys annihilated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday as the team dropped 40 points on their old school rivals. This game was labeled as a “trap” game for Dallas, however, the Cowboys came into Santa Clara and got the job done.

There are plenty of takeaways from this contest but in this article, we will focus on the factors that mean the most moving forward. The only appropriate place to start would be with the best running back in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott.

Ezekiel Elliott is in top form: This one is a no-brainer and yes I know this was a cupcake matchup (on paper) but Elliott looked unstoppable on Sunday. He looked legendary on the field and recorded the most yards he has ever accumulated in a single game (219 total yards).

He burned the San Francisco defense for big plays all afternoon. After struggling a bit earlier this season against the best run defenses in the NFL Zeke finally had his biggest game of the season (something I predicted last week).

More importantly, this performance set a fire under the Cowboys offense as they finally got back to consistently putting together productive drives. Elliott was integral in this and continues to be the motor that keeps the Dallas Cowboys engine running smoothly.

Zeke finished the day with 26 carries that gained, 147 rushing yards, a single reception that led to the biggest highlight of the game, a 72-yard receiving touchdown on a screen play.

This is the second game that Elliott has rushed for 100 yards and that trend should continue as we head into Week Eight.

Dak Prescott is a Swiss army knife: Not many quarterbacks can hurt you in multiple ways in their second year in the league. Prescott is a special player that has become one of the deadliest weapons that this offense has.

Prescott went 16 of 25 for 234 yards, three passing touchdowns, and zero picks. This is the third game in which Dak has put up three touchdowns through the air. In addition to that, Prescott had four carries, one of which was a designed run that saw him get into the end zone.

Four total touchdowns and a 134.0 quarterback rating, now that is a terrific afternoon. Prescott in many ways is the leader of this team but now it appears he is really stepping into that role on the field as well.

Not many quarterbacks are throwing for multiple touchdowns in consecutive games let alone rushing for scores as well. Sure again, this was a favorable matchup but Dak has been doing this all season. He should continue to see his star shine brighter as the competition gets tougher.

Jaylon Smith is continuing to grow: Smith has had some rough days in the office but that is apart of this season for him as this technically is his rookie year. This week, he looked far more explosive than he has all year long, and that culminated in him recording his first strip sack of the season.

The linebacker blitz is a magical thing to watch when it is executed correctly and Smith’s talents shine through in that department. The second round pick should only see his level of play increase as he continues to heal and gain experience on the field.

That sack was a big moment as you could tell that Smith was starting to play like his old self once again.

The defensive line is beginning to gel: The Dallas Cowboys pass rush is really beginning to take shape. David Irving is starting to get his motor running as he will only get better as the season goes on.

He struggled with his conditioning since he returned from suspension however he looks better and better every week. Sunday was no exception as he recorded a sack and a forced fumble.

Demarcus Lawrence also was his dominant self as he is having his best season as a pro. Lawrence another sack and a forced fumble that makes his grand total 9.5 on the season.

If he earns another half sack/full sack he will be the first Dallas Cowboy to have double-digit sacks since 2013. Tyrone Crawford (who is one of the captains of this unit) was consistent and put pressure on C.J. Beathard throughout the contest.

He too would record a sack and that shows just how disruptive the Dallas pass rush can be when everyone is producing. This defense had five sacks on Sunday and multiple forced fumbles so if the defensive line can keep up that level of production the Cowboys will be difficult to stop. 

More from Dallas Cowboys

Dez ties Cowboys all-time receiving touchdown record: There has been a lot of talk about Dez Bryant this season and his production. This record reminds people of just how prolific Bryant has been as a receiver in the NFL.

While Bryant’s game was not head turning he did manage to catch 7 out of 10 targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. How effective he is with his targets has been somewhat of a concern but in this contest, he was over 50 percent.

Bryant continues to be the Dallas Cowboys primary target and best option in the passing in the passing game and as the uncertainty around the availability of Ezekiel Elliott grows the closer we get to October 30th.

Bryant could be asked to do a lot more within the Cowboys offense if Elliott is suspended and that could inflate his stat line towards the end of the year. If Dez is converting that number of targets if Zeke is out, he will be poised for big numbers.

Next: Dallas Cowboys VS San Francisco 49ers matchup preview

Bonus: Jason Witten is an ageless wonder: Witten has had an excellent career and a promising start to the 2017 season. He is currently averaging 9.1 yards per reception, has recorded three touchdowns, and has gained over 250 yards. He is easily the most productive tight end of his age group and continues to wow NFL fans around the world.

This week he dazzled the Santa Clara audience with a one-handed back shoulder catch in the back of the end zone. It will be remembered as one of the best receptions of 2017 and proves that even in his later years, Witten is still a force to be reckoned with.