Sports

Dallas Cowboys’ offense puts up 515 yards, showing it’s always ‘in the strike zone’

ARLINGTON, Texas — Maybe the game’s outcome was already decided, since the Dallas Cowboys were leading by 14 points in the fourth quarter and the New York Giants were without quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Kenny Golladay, but Dak Prescott still had a message.

The Cowboys had the ball at their 2-yard line with 12:22 left to play and were up 27-13.

“This is 98 yards,” the Cowboys quarterback told his offensive teammates in the huddle. “This is a challenge. … One play at a time. Focus in on your job. Be disciplined and we’ll look up and we’ll be in the end zone.”

On first down, running back Ezekiel Elliott picked up 10 yards. Two plays later, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb had an 18-yard catch, but offensive tackle Terence Steele was penalized for unnecessary roughness after the gain. No problem. Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson completed a 22-yard pass to Noah Brown, missing an open Lamb for a potential touchdown on the trick play.

On third-and-1 from the Dallas 48, Wilson was on the receiving end of a Prescott throw for 35 yards. Two plays later, Elliott had a 13-yard touchdown run.

Ninety-eight yards on nine plays, chewing up 4 minutes, 48 seconds. Game really over. The Cowboys won 44-20.

Aside from the Steele penalty, the drive was the epitome of the Cowboys’ offensive dominance that has been on display this season and especially during their four-game winning streak.

“When we’re focused and when we’re all playing and doing our one job, that’s what we expect,” Prescott said, “and that’s why our standards are so high.”

In their past three games, the Cowboys have scored 121 points, their most in a three-game span since Weeks 15-17 in 2014 (124).

In their four-game winning streak, the Cowboys lead the NFL in rushing yards (804) and are second in yards per rush (5.54).

In his past three games, Prescott has 10 touchdown passes. Against the Giants, he had a 49-yard touchdown pass to Lamb and a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper. After missing on five passes in the first quarter, he missed on just five passes over the last three quarters.

Elliott had his second straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 110 yards on 21 carries. For the eighth time in his career he had a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. Running back Tony Pollard had 75 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving, marking the first time since 2019 both of the Cowboys’ backs topped 100 scrimmage yards in the same game.

“Correct me if wrong, this is our third week of running for 200 again,” Elliott said. “So, I think the O-line came out there and dominated and everything fell [into place] after that.”

Elliott is not wrong. It is also the first time in franchise history the Cowboys have had more than 200 yards rushing as a team in three straight games.

Against the Giants, the Cowboys put up 515 yards on offense, marking the first time since 1983 a Dallas offense had more than 200 yards rushing and 300 yards passing in the same game.

Whichever way an opposing defense wants to attempt to slow the Cowboys, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can counter. If defenses want to stack the box, Prescott can throw it all over the field. If the defenses choose to sit back in coverage, the Cowboys will run it effectively.

“Kellen has so much great stuff,” Prescott said, “and he knows when to call it.”

As good as it has been, the Cowboys have not been perfect. Two first-quarter turnovers by Prescott led to a slow start against the Giants. They also have not had receiver Michael Gallup (calf strain) or right tackle La’el Collins (suspension) since the season opener, so they feel like they have room to grow.

“It’s great to be on an offense this talented,” Lamb said. “We know you don’t always have to make the play or you don’t have to stretch yourself to make the play because you know your brother has your back. We have so many offensive weapons and we feel like we can score from any point. Any point on the field it’s like we’re in the strike zone.”

Even from 98 yards away.

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