In a season of turmoil, Dallas finally experienced some good in Cincinnati
The Cowboys ended a two-game loss with a strong 30-7 win over the unfortunate Bengals on Sunday. That game was about some early wagering enforced by the Cowboys, and it was completed by Tyrone Crawfords two sacks in the fourth quarter, a cherry on a pretty nice game of the Cowboys.
In a season of so much bad, the cowboys finally had something good to celebrate.
Here are five things we noticed in winning:
Sales, sales and more sales
The cowboys scored 17 points less, guess what, sales. Yes, sales. DeMarcus Lawrence, Darian Thompson and (technically) Leighton Vander Esch forced three fiddles. Sales were so bad that the Bengals, who ran back Trayveon Williams and Giovani Bernard, were put on a bench after fumbling. Williams’ fumble in the first half came when he bumped into the back of security guard Hakeem Adeniji. It was the Bengali version of a butt fumble. Aldon Smith picked up the fumble and scored at 78-yard return. The Cowboys had only forced eleven turnovers and three on Sunday. It was urgently needed.
Andy Dalton’s return
Andy Dalton spent nine years in Cincinnati and was one of the most popular players in franchise history. Dalton returned and played a wonderful game. He was given a loud ovation from the small crowd in Cincinnati before the game when the cowboys came out of the tunnel to start the game. Dalton completed 16 of 23 passes for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The running game
The cowboys rushing game ran in the mud until Ezekiel Elliott’s 26-yard run in the fourth quarter. It was his longest run of the year. The other long runs were a 17-yard Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb’s 15-yard burst on a jet sweep. In total, the running game produced 101 yards. Elliott, who started with a bruised calf, ended up 48 yards on 12 stretches. In a running game indictment, the Cowboys faced a first hit from the Bengals’ 3-yard line in the third quarter, and Elliott won just one yard on first relegation. As second and goal, Dalton could not complete an end zone pass for Michael Gallup on an intersection route. On the third and at the gate, Dalton was incomplete in a pass on the goal line to Amari Cooper. Later in the third quarter, Pollard couldn’t get a first deficit to a third and a second from the Dallas 45s.
Defensive past problems
The cowboys had all sorts of secondary issues that came up in and during the game. Once the cowboys had Chris Westry, Jourdan Lewis and Deante Burton on the corner in the field. Saivion Smith (hand) and Rashard Robinson (unknown), who started on the corner, left the game injured but returned. When cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie (COVID list), Trevon Diggs (feet) and Anthony Brown (ribs) came on, they fell out. Combine that with a lack of security Donovan Wilson (groin area) and the secondary had problems with the staff. But the cowboys could survive anything.
Special teams receive a passed grade
We rightly beat the special forces this season. On Sunday, Tony Pollard had a kick return of 60 yards, Hunter Niswander landed a punt within 10 and Greg Zuerlein scored a field goal of 55 yards in the fourth quarter. Nothing is perfect, but it was good to see the Cowboys Special Team unit producing some positive games at one point.
More cowboys coverage from the Dallas Morning News can be found here.