The Dallas Cowboys are back, baby. Against the 4-4 Atlanta Falcons all they did was offer up the best half of football the league has seen this season. Their 36-3 halftime lead spoke to their total domination on both sides of the ball. And the final score of 43-3 moved Dallas to 7-2 and back into the conversation for best team in the NFC.
Needless to say, it was stark difference from the dumpster fire they gave us last week.
Nobody knew exactly how the Dallas Cowboys would respond to last week’s thrashing by the Denver Broncos. Against Denver, Dallas displayed poor play and even worse effort. The uninspired performance was an embarrassment to players, coaches, and fans alike.
Even though a mid-week injury to Randy Gregory landed their best edge rusher on IR, Dallas was given good news on the injury front with the return of WR Michael Gallup. Gallup, who’d been out since week one, was champing at the bit to get on the field, and happily hit the ground running Sunday.
Michael Gallup takes this already-dominant Dallas Cowboys offense, and somehow makes them even better.
Dallas’ 33 point lead at the half is the biggest margin they’ve held at the mid-point in 50 years (1971 against the Jets). It signified the Cowboys resolve this week and dissatisfaction with the week before, and firmly places the Cowboys back into any and all “contender” conversations.
Michael Gallup’s impact on this Dallas Cowboys offense cannot be understated. Even though he’s just No. 3 in their three-headed monster at WR, he’s an impact player and big play waiting to happen. On 31 other teams, Gallup would be pushing for the No.2 or even No. 1 role. On Dallas he is often is the forgotten man by opposing defenses and a key cog in Dak Prescott’s unstoppable machine.
Gallup’s return wasn’t flawless. He dropped a huge third down opportunity on the Cowboys’ first drive of the second half. And his routes weren’t all as crisp as we’re used to seeing from the fourth-year player. But his presence was felt and his return to the field put the entire NFL on notice. If you don’t have three elite covermen capable of hanging with Dallas’ trio, you’re going to pay.
Gallup’s return helps open things up more for everyone. Defenses can’t double everyone and with Dalton Schultz, Cedrick Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard all rounding out the attack, the Dallas Cowboys are quite possibly the best offense the NFL has seen in quite a while.
Speaking of defense, the Cowboys offense wasn’t the only thing that bounced back on Sunday, but their defense stepped up as well. As previously mentioned, the best edge rusher on the team, Randy Gregory, was out, joining DeMarcus Lawrence on IR. But none of that seemed to matter Sunday. Micah Parsons applied some opportunistic pressure when called upon, and the secondary absolutely balled.
Trevon Diggs did what he does best and that’s snag interceptions. He collected his eighth INT in nine games and reminded the league why it’s always a risk throwing in his direction. And Dallas’ other two starting CBs got some picks of their own, with both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown collecting some highlight interceptions themselves.
Jourdan Lewis played arguably the best game as a pro and Brown very quietly had himself an afternoon as well – pulling in a highlight reel interception in the 3rd quarter.
The Dallas Cowboys are far from 100 percent. They are still missing their All-Pro left tackle, their two best defensive linemen, and a pair of key DTs in Brent Urban and Neville Gallimore. In other words, the team that’s looking like they are back to peak efficiency can actually get even better.
The Dallas Cowboys now stand 7-2 and are in firm position to challenge for the No. 1 seed once again.
- Published on 11/14/2021 at 21:01 PM
- Last updated at 11/15/2021 at 12:39 PM