Cowboys 28, Bengals 14
Now this week I thought was going to be a TEST for the Cowboy Defense. I just knew (QB) Andy Dalton was going to come in and challenge the Cowboys Secondary. With all the hype I was hearing about the Cincinnati’s front four, I just knew they were going to challenge the BEST OFFENSIVE LINE in the NFL. After all was said and done all I could say was “NOT”. Bengals showed up physically, but somebody forgot to tell them to bring their game with them. All I saw on the Bengal sideline was discontent, arguing, blaming and long faces they had NO ANSWER for the Dallas Cowboy Offense.
Let’s get to it shall we J…
The Cowboys actually won the opening toss and elected to put the offense on the field first. I just knew we were in trouble from the start. But Coach Garrett was thinking on another level. The Cowboys scored on their opening drive a 13 yard running TD by (RB) Ezekiel Elliot who ended up with 15 rushes for 134 yards and 2TDs. In the 2nd Quarter, the Cowboys followed that up with a 5 yard touchdown run by (QB) Dak Prescott, who had 7 rushes for 4 yards. The Cowboys were able to attack the Bengal Defense through the air in the 2nd Quarter as well. Dak Prescott found (WR) Cole Beasly for a 14 yard catch and run for a Touchdown before half-time. The Cowboys went into the break with a 21-0 lead. In the 3rd quarter the Cowboys (RB) Ezekiel Elliot opened the Bengals Defense up even more with a 60 yard Touchdown run, (28-0). I really can’t speak much about the Bengals in this game. The Cowboys Defense seemed to “Manage” the Bengals high-powered offense. All the scoring the Bengals did cam in the 4th Quarter. I can say the Bengals did manage to run the ball well on the Cowboys front 7 at times. The Bengals ended up with a total of 96 yards rushing and 249 yards passing. It was a good showing for the Cowboy Defense.
The Cowboys played without a few key starters in this game (QB) Tony Romo (BACK), (LG) La’el Collins (FOOT), (WR) Dez Bryant (KNEE) & (CB) Orlando Scandrick (HAMSTRING).
Quarterback Dak Prescott continues to impress. There is nothing more than playing a game that you love with confidence and your teammates having confidence in you. Dak ended his day, 18/24, 227 yards, 1TD and 0 INTS. The ONLY negative plays he had were giving up his first 2 fumbles, 1 which he lost.
Let’s talk about the Offensive Line. With the return of MR. EVERYTHING (LT) Tyrone Smith, the O-line were in sink again, (LG) Ron Leary, (C) Travis Frederick, (RG) Zack Martin, (RT) Doug Free it was like OLD TIMES again but with Ezekiel Elliot running through HUGE holes. This group IS THE BEST OFFENSIVE LINE in the NFL. They “man-handled” Cincinnati’s stout front 7. The Bengals won a few times up front, but it wasn’t enough to shut down the Cowboy’s running attack. If it wasn’t Elliot running for a good gain it was (RB) Alfred Morris, 6 rushes, 33 yards. The “Great Wall II” gave up 1 sack to the Bengal Defense, they were able to keep Prescott clean for most of the game. Don’t get me wrong Cowboy Nation, (LG) La’el Collins will be a dominate force on this O-line, but there is something about the Line with (LG) Ron Leary. Leary has been BALLING OUT at the LG, matter of fact both Guards (Leary and Martin) are BALLING OUT.
Without (WR) Dez Bryant the receivers stepped up their game (again). I see you (WR) Terrence Williams, 5rec, 70yards, every key passing play seemed to be thrown to T-Willy. It was so good see him on his “A” game, great work Terrence. There even was a (WR) Brice Butler sighting, 2rec, and 20yards. (WR) Cole Beasly had a steady night, 4rec, 53yards, TD. I have to give it to your TEAM CAPTAIN, (TE) Jason Witten, even though he had a drop in this game he still managed 3rec, 43yards, the highlight was a 31yard catch and run reception from Prescott with a good looking “Oldman Stiff-arm” during the play. Offensive Coordinator, Scott Linehan incorporated (RB) Elliot, 3rec, 37yards, on a couple flare-out throws out the backfield. We can’t forget the energy and play of (WR) Lucky Whitehead, the 2nd year player has been BALLING OUT. Teams don’t have an answer for that Jet Sweep. I must have seen at least 3-4 plays they could run off of it during the game. I’ve also noticed other teams using it more as well.
What can I say about the Cowboy Defense vs. this Bengal Offense? Another slow start but managed to tighten up when it counted. Like I said last week, a lot of bending, but didn’t break. Instead of getting beat up the middle, the Defensive Line kept getting beat on the cut-back, that’s how Cincinnati gained most of their yards in this game. Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli has this defense playing on another Level. With the return of (DE) Demarcus Lawrence and the constant rotation of the Defensive Line, the Defense was able to put pressure on Cincinnati’s Quarterback (Dalton), they ended up with 3 sacks and a few pressures/hurries. Free Agents (DE) Benson Mayowa (DE) Cedric Thornton both ended up with a sack each, while (DT) Terrell McClain, 1.5 sacks and (DE) Jack Crawford .5 sack contributed to the pass rush for the Cowboys Defense.
With the injury to (LB) Kyle Wilbur (NECK) early in the game, the Cowboy Linebackers had to step up. Defensive Captain, (LB) Sean Lee, 5 tackles, 5 assists, had his usual steady game. (LB) Justin Durant contributed with 3 tackles, 3 assists. I did notice Justin Durant in coverage or shall I say lack of coverage, JD got beat up the seem, not able to get close to the opposing Tight-end. Though Cincinnati was without All Pro (TE) Tyler Eifert, his back-up (TE) C.J. Uzomah had 5rec for 43 yards. We have a few teams coming up in the season that have quality Tight-ends and we need to do a better job covering them or we will get burned for much, much more yardage.
The Cowboy’s secondary is improving each week. With the lack of pass rush they are playing more and more 1 on 1 coverage. With (CB) Orlando Scandrick out with two bad hamstrings, the secondary had to rely on Rookie Corner Anthony Brown to play the slot corner position. Brown is definitely earning his stripes this year for this Cowboy Secondary, 3 tackles, 3 assists. (CB) Brandon Carr, 2 tackles, played exceptional coverage on Cincinnati’s All Pro Receiver, A.J. Green. If anyone deserves the MOST IMPROVED AWARD in this early season is (CB) Morris Claiborne, 3 tackles and a number of pass knock downs/deflections. Morris is playing at an All Pro Level right now. His confidence and “swag” is back and this team is in need of it too. “Mo-Clai” is BALLING OUT! Safety’s Byron Jones, 4 tackles, and Barry Church, 7 tackles, 1 assist, seem to make a good combination. Along with (S) J.J. Wilcox, 3 tackles these guys are trusting one another to do their jobs. Again, this is a huge credit to Defensive Coordinator Ron Marinelli.
Lastly, I want to say…
Coach Garrett has this team believing in itself and as a HUGE FAN it is such a sight to see. The Cowboys are rolling right now. 3 straight wins. I really thought Cincinnati was going to be a good test for our team, but I’m sure this week’s game will be a greater TEST for our Cowboys on the road.
On to the next game @ Green Bay (3-1), 10/16, afternoon game. This game should be our PAYBACK GAME for the playoff game we lost 2 years ago, the catch/no catch from Dez. I’d be willing to bet Dez Bryant will be GO for this game.
Thank you Cowboy Nation