After a convincing 30-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers Sunday to send them into their bye week, here are five things we learned about the Dallas Cowboys when the dust settled.
1.) Dak Prescott is human:
The rookie finally threw an interception, snapping an NFL-best 176 pass attempts to start a career without one. Prescott topped Tom Brady’s previous record of 162 earlier in the game. Along with the interception, Prescott also fumbled the ball twice, one of which he lost.
Despite the difficulty hanging onto the ball, Prescott shook off the mistakes, and finished 18-of-27 for 247 yards, three touchdowns and a 117.4 passer rating. He also became the first Cowboys rookie quarterback since Troy Aikman in 1989 to throw three touchdowns in one game.
2.) Ezekiel Elliott is for real:
Entering the game, Green Bay boasted the best run defense in the NFL. Evidently that was not a problem for Elliott. For the fourth consecutive week, Elliott gained 130 yards on the ground. He gashed the Packers and was a thorn in their side the entire game.
Elliott did more than run, though, and was key in protecting Prescott all afternoon. Several times Elliott picked up blitzes and gave Prescott the extra second or two necessary in the pocket to complete passes downfield. He finished the contest with 157 yards on 28 carries, and is the first player with at least 150 yards from scrimmage in four straight games since 2009.
3.) Defense continues to play well:
For the second straight week, Dallas kept its opponent out of the endzone until midway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys also won the turnover battle 4-2, intercepting Aaron Rodgers once and recovering three fumbles.
Defensive back Morris Claiborne exited the game early after taking a vicious friendly fire hit from linebacker Sean Lee, but the Dallas defense never blinked. Even without two of their best cornerbacks in Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick, the Cowboys left Rodgers, who has looked out of sync for most of this season, flustered and searching for answers.
4.) Cole Beasley quietly dominating:
He did not lead Dallas in receiving Sunday, but Beasley finished with 58 yards on six catches. Two of his grabs were touchdowns. Beasley appears to have found a rhythm with Prescott, and has become somewhat of a safety net for him. It reminds me a lot of what Jason Witten is for Tony Romo. I
f the Cowboys are in third down and need to convert, Prescott somehow finds Beasley. Through six games, Beasley leads Dallas’ receiving corps with 33 receptions, 390 yards and three touchdowns.
5.) Romo or Prescott?
Okay, maybe this is one thing we didn’t learn, since the Cowboys still have not definitively said who would start once Romo returns from injury. One thing is certain, however. With each passing week, Prescott makes the decision that much harder for Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.
Dallas does not play this weekend with its bye, and returns to action Oct. 30 at home against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football – prime time for a possible Romo return. Who will be under center? Your guess is as good as mine. But in case you wanted my opinion, I firmly believe they should stick with Prescott until he gives them a reason not to. After all, the kid is 5-1.
Was was your biggest takeaway from Sunday's victory? Let Reece know on Twitter @ReeceWaddell15.