Dallas Cowboys Trample the Lions: A Tale of Two Halves

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Based upon the first half alone, you would assume the Dallas Cowboys dropped their game Sunday against the Lions. There was a lot of excitement in Cowboys Nation surrounding this game. Excitement only near-perfection could live up to.

Franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was due for a return against a team which was ranked both last in coverage and defense as whole according to PFF. For guy who’s known for carving up poor defenses such as the Lions, expectations for Dak were sky high.

Expectations were too high from Dallas Cowboys fans for Dak Prescott going in…

The first half left a lot to be desired as illustrated by our very own Reid Hanson:

When neither rushing nor passing has a positive EPA (Expected points added) tells us that the Cowboys were incredibly inefficient in the 1st half. This is especially on 3rd and 4th down where they went just 1/5 on conversions.

Here is the result of the Dallas Cowboys first half drives:

  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Field Goal
  • Punt
  • Fumble.

I feel this first half showed some signs of Dak needing to seriously readjust to the speed of the NFL. Regardless of the talent on the other side, these are NFL-level players on the opposing defense.

While the 1st half was ugly, to say the least, the Dallas Cowboys came out of the second half firing on all cylinders. On their first drive it took only eight plays, three minutes and 19 seconds to get their first touchdown of the season on a Dak Prescott-led drive.

The approach for this game was similar to what it was with Cooper Rush at the helm, in terms of play calling. Out of 61 total plays ran, 31 were pass plays and 30 were rushing. Kellen Moore seems to have took some of the lessons he learned with Rush and those victories.

Taking more weight off Dak and distributing elsewhere is key. Namely, to the rushing attack of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott. It was definitely a scare when Zeke went down with a potential knee injury but it clearly had no effect on him as he was able to punch in two touchdowns during Sunday’s contest.

The defense did not let the Lions special teams unit get back onto the field after they punted with 10:18 to go in the third quarter. Four straight forced turnovers from the defensive unit which was headlined by the play of rookie linebacker Sam Williams. A major coming out party from the second rounder out of Ole Miss, forcing a fumble and recording two sacks as well.

While a slow start against the Lions is not what the Cowboys were looking for, the 2nd half had them firing on all cylinders.

light. Related Story. Cowboys found balance and more success than you think

The next opponent is yet another NFC North squad in the Chicago Bears, a great team to get Dak back to being comfortable and the momentum rolling.