Cowboys flirting with uncommon type of dominance as Eagles loom

With all due respect to the best degree of soccer, this Dallas Cowboys season is beginning to really feel lots like one you may see from a very proficient school group. It is a becoming parallel, given the time of 12 months. Down within the collegiate ranks, convention championships have simply been determined and the all-important School Soccer Playoff area is about. Soccer factories like Georgia and Michigan can lastly cease rolling over their overmatched opposition and switch their focus towards a worthy foe.

Sounds a bit acquainted, proper? As a result of, as they hurtle towards a Christmas Eve rematch in opposition to 11-1 Philadelphia, it is truthful to surprise if the Cowboys look a bit bored. Their successful streak now at three video games, Dallas is firmly entrenched among the many quick record of Tremendous Bowl contenders. Extra importantly, these final two efforts have not even been all that full.

Take into consideration how loopy that sounds. The Cowboys trailed the Giants 13-7 at halftime on Thanksgiving earlier than flipping the swap and cruising to a 28-20 win. Sunday night time’s 54-19 brutalization of Indianapolis was much more jarring. As late as the three:43 mark within the third quarter, this gave the impression to be a soccer recreation. The Colts had used fast passes and screens successfully to mitigate the Cowboys cross rush, and Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense had made a handful of impactful errors. The rating was 21-19 — a typical recreation to function one other reminder of the issue of taking part in within the NFL. Till it wasn’t. 

Prescott guided his group 75 yards, culminating in a 3-yard landing cross to Michael Gallup, to create a two-possession cushion. A mere 18 seconds later, Malik Hooker might scoop up a Colts fumble and return it 38 yards for a landing, and the story was written. By the point it was over, the Cowboys had scored a franchise-record 33 factors within the fourth quarter. They completed the night time with 5 takeaways — 4 of them coming in that frantic ultimate interval, turning a annoying night right into a laugher within the blink of a watch.

“We get up a couple points, let these guys hunt and get turnovers, and we’re a dangerous team when that happens,” Prescott stated afterward.

Harmful would not really feel prefer it does this justice. The Cowboys chalked up the best rating in an NFL recreation this season and did not want a very spectacular day from their quarterback to do it.

That’ll occur when the bottom recreation, completely balanced between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, racks up 220 complete yards.

The 5 takeaways do not harm, both. Rookie cornerback DaRon Bland notched two interceptions of Ryan, and Hooker swung the momentum of the sport simply earlier than halftime when he dove for a tip drill interception, serving to the offense to go rating for a 21-13 halftime lead.

The narrative clearly wasn’t misplaced on Hooker. Two takeaways and his first NFL landing made this among the best video games of his professional profession — and who higher to do it to than Indianapolis, the group that made him the No. 15 total decide within the 2017 NFL Draft?

“I just wanted to come out here and prove that I’m still the player I was drafted to be, and I think I showed that tonight,” Hooker stated.

Even the gameplay resembled that of a faculty recreation, the place powerhouses can empty their benches and put much more top-tier expertise on the sphere.

For all of the star energy of the Cowboys, from Prescott to Micah Parsons to CeeDee Lamb, the ultimate touches of this blowout had been utilized by newcomers. Bland, drafted within the fifth spherical this previous spring, has gotten onto the sphere partially due to accidents to the veterans on the depth chart. The fumble that Hooker returned for a landing was punched out by Damone Clark— a fellow fifth-round rookie getting his toes moist on protection. The ultimate factors of the night time got here on a 23-yard rumble from Malik Davis, one other rookie signed as an undrafted free agent.

After all, it is truthful to level out that this was an anticipated end result. The Colts are a middling group with a head coach working his fourth profession recreation. There is a motive the Cowboys had been favored by a whopping 10.5 factors.

Nonetheless, we have seen the Cowboys at their crispest — the 40-3 pasting of 10-2 Minnesota involves thoughts. Regardless of how lopsided the ultimate rating may look, this was not as clear of an effort.

For Dallas to look this dominant, on this gradual of a begin, calls to thoughts the school recreation. And it makes one awfully anxious to see what they’re going to do in opposition to an opponent extra worthy of their time.

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David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons overlaying the Cowboys for the group’s official web site. In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Comply with him on Twitter @davidhelman_.


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