The Dallas Cowboys still aren’t a particularly dynamic team on offense, but they’re efficient.
In Monday’s victory over Arizona, the Cowboys totaled only 273 yards of offense, but they needed only 45 plays to score four touchdowns and beat the Cardinals 28-17 on the road.
Strong defense and special teams meant the Cowboys had only one touchdown drive longer than five plays and 50 yards, and that one was pretty good. The Cowboys went 75 yards in only four plays in the fourth quarter, and scored an important touchdown that gave them their final winning margin of 11 points.
The Cowboys still need to clean up some things, particularly their third-down conversion rate, but they have showed great run-pass balance with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Dallas called 19 pass plays and 26 run plays. Elliott gained 80 yards and scored a touchdown, and Prescott was particularly effective, as he completed 13 of 18 attempts for 183 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Prescott also ran the ball three times for 16 yards and one touchdown.
“It was remarkable,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said about Prescott after the game. “His mental toughness is off the charts. He demonstrates it week in and week out. Throughout that ballgame, things didn’t come easily to us, and he just kept battling, kept making good decisions. Obviously he made some great plays out of the pocket. He made some big-time throws.”
This is the first time that Rams quarterback Jared Goff will start a game opposite one of the other 14 quarterbacks drafted in 2016. Goff was the No. 1 pick. Prescott went to the Cowboys in the fourth round and became a Pro Bowl selection and the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year.
WHO’S COACHING THE COWBOYS?
The Cowboys started 1-7 under Coach Wade Phillips in 2010, so he was fired in November and replaced by Garrett, his offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, who still holds the job seven years later.
Dallas doesn’t change coaches often. There have been only eight of them since the start of the franchise in 1960, although Tom Landry is responsible for 28 of those years. Somewhat remarkably, Garrett is now second on the list of most games coached, ahead of Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.
The Cowboys stuck with Garrett after their 4-12 season in 2015, and he justified the decision in 2016, when the Cowboys went 13-3 and Garrett was named the NFL’s coach of the year.
BY THE NUMBERS
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