From Jeff Heath Hilarity To Dez’s Record-Tying TD, Here Are Five Observations From The Dallas Cowboys’ 40-10 Win Over San Francisco.
The Dallas Cowboys, fresh off a bye week, bounced back on Sunday with a convincing win over the now 0-7 San Francisco 49ers.
Actually, they demolished the Niners to the tune of a 40-10 win — their largest victory margin against San Francisco since 1980.
Here’s what I noticed over the course of yesterday’s win.
- After Dallas’ special teams forced a turnover on San Francisco’s first punt of the game, Ezekiel Elliott picked up where he left off in the game versus the Packers two weeks ago. The team quickly capitalized on the advantageous field position, with Elliott rushing for a touchdown that gave the ‘boys a 7-0 lead. The team didn’t look back from there. Straight out the gates, Zeke looked great — like the young running back we all fell in love with last season. He would finish the game with three total touchdowns on the day — two on the ground and one in the form of a 72-yard receiving TD. Better still, two of those TDs came in the first quarter, allowing Dallas to have a little breathing room from the jump.
- The Cowboys’ defense has been the team’s Achilles heel for some time now — but this game was a bit different. The D only allowed a total of 103 rushing yards, while collecting five sacks and snagging three fumble recoveries. Granted, this all came against a depleted 49ers team. But highlights are highlights!
- The funniest moment of the game came courtesy of safety Jeff Heath playing out of position. With Dan Bailey, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, unavailable due to a pulled groin, Heath got named the team’s emergency kicker and went two-for-three on extra point kicks, one of which bounced off the goal post on its way through the uprights.
- It’s clear at this point that this year’s offensive line is a bit different from what it was last year. But in yesterday’s game at least, they allowed no sacks on the quarterback. And that allowed the passing game to flourish: For the third straight game, Dak Prescott was stellar, completing 17 of 25 passes for 234 years and three touchdown passes, while adding in a rushing touchdown to boot. Even better, he spread the ball around to his most trusted weapons: Besides the aforementioned 72-yard catch-and-run from Zeke, Dak tossed some serious dimes to Jason Witten and Dez Bryant for touchdowns.
- There’s been a lot of chatter this season about whether of not Dez is still an elite NFL wide out, but No. 88 had some nice moments in yesterday’s win, pulling in seven catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. That score was a big one too, as it was the 71st TD catch of Bryant’s career, tying him with Cowboys legend Bob Hayes for the top spot in the franchise’s career TD reception list. Of course, Bryant pulled that off in 32 fewer games than Hayes did, and you’ve got to figure Dez will be looking to put some distance between him and Hayes as he continues to embark on what we all hope will be a lengthy career.
Obviously, there’s a lot to feel good about in the wake of an easy win like this one, but the Cowboys better not get too pleased over yesterdays effort. A six-game suspension still looms over Elliott’s head with no surefire signals as to when that might come, and with the schedule not easing up any in the weeks to come, we can only hope that this game more of a glimpse into a refocused Cowboys than a totally beleaguered 49ers.
We’ll find out for sure next Sunday when Dallas heads up to Washington to take on the Redskins in a game that could finally get the Cowboys over the .500 hump and launch them into second-place in the NFC East.