ARLINGTON, Texas – Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott had just scampered away with another score.
It was the third quarter. The rout was almost complete.
Dressed in a track suit as he sat out his fifth-consecutive game, quarterback Tony Romo mouthed the words “it’s over” into a headset.
Was Romo talking about the game or his days as the Dallas Cowboys' starter? Surely, that will be a topic that will continue to dominate sports conversation in Dallas this week.
That’s because rookie QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys steamrolled the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon, 28-14, and now sit atop the NFC East with a 4-1 record.
The stars were Prescott, Elliott, and an offensive line that mauled the Bengals. From the very first series, the Cowboys showed they would use that front to dominate. Dallas ran the ball six times in the first series for 53 yards.
Elliott ran all over another defense for his third-consecutive game with more than 100 yards. On just 15 carries, Elliott gashed the Bengals (2-3) for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
As a reminder, the Cowboys did this without Romo and receiver Dez Bryant, both of whom sat with injuries.
Prescott, once again, managed the game with precision. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown. Once again, he avoided throwing an interception, and extended his streak to 158 consecutive attempts without tossing a pick.
He now trails New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s NFL record of 162 passes to start a career without an interception by just six attempts.
The Dallas defense stepped up, especially in the first half. In the first two quarters, the Cowboys held the Bengals to only one of five third-down conversions, eight total first downs, 150 total yards, and they limited Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green to one catch for only nine yards.
Facing an early hole, Cincinnati was forced to abandon the rushing game, and tried to climb back in the contest with a heavy dose of Andy Dalton passes.
The Dallas pass rush, knowing the Bengals would be forced to throw, didn’t post an eye-opening sack total, but pushed the pocket back far enough to fluster Dalton. He completed 29 of 41 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys now travel for an important road showdown against the Green Bay Packers before enjoying their bye in Week 7.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.