The Dallas Cowboys grinded out a 24-6 victory yesterday afternoon against a struggling Detroit Lions team.
Although struggling, the offensive line has been a bright spot for the 1-5 Lions.
As one of the best units in football, the Detroit OL had only given up seven sacks all season.
The Dallas pass rush yesterday didn't feel as dominant as usual, yet they finished with five sacks, five QB hits, and three forced fumbles.
Yet another performance that highlights how the Dallas defense can create havoc and change the outcome of games, even against one of the league's best.
Before only scoring six points yesterday, the Lions were averaging 28 points per game.
You could see early and often the Lions' game plan. They were doing everything they could to avoid Micah Parsons, quick screens, or running the football to keep them off balance.
When they did this, the Lions tended to rip off their biggest plays of the afternoon.
Down 6-3 at halftime, the Cowboys forced five turnovers in the second half, including a FOUR in the fourth quarter.
We also got to see the type of player Sam Williams has a chance to be.
He recorded the first two sacks of his NFL career. Both came in the second half, including a fourth-quarter strip and recovery of Lions quarterback Jared Goff that led to Cowboys rookie tight end Peyton Hendershot's first career touchdown reception.
Williams plays an aggressive style of football. He gives 110% all the time, and I was hyped when he stuffed running back Justin Jackson, but I immediately thought he would get flagged when he body-slammed him to the ground. That may be something to work on as he becomes a regular on defense.
He only recorded 14 defensive snaps; he has a chance to be a great player for a long time.
Time and time again, we see the greatness of the Cowboys' defense playing with a lead. It allows Dan Quinn to dial up almost anything with the front seven.
The excellent play of the backend is another reason for this, but it took a HUGE blow yesterday.
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury he suffered in the win. The injury happened following a fourth-quarter interception of Jared Goff, and he had foot surgery last night.
The Cowboys will finally get to see what they have in Deron Bland; he will replace him as the nickel CB. Let's give Bland some time.
When teams get into third and long against the Cowboy's defense, the pass rush forces the ball out early, and guys like Lewis have been making plays. Hopefully, Bland can step in and do the same.
The defense caught a break with the fumble on the goal line from Jamaal Williams, but the effort by Parsons to close on Lions TE Brock Wright and tackle him before he scored arguably won the Cowboys the game.
The game could have gone the other way if they punched that in for a touchdown.
Let's make sure we note that will all the good we saw yesterday, the defense still has plenty to improve on. The obvious is finding a way to neutralize the run. I don't know how they can do it, I will leave that to Quinn, but man, as great as this defense is, they must play with the lead.
I know this is a defensive post, and they are the best thing about this team, but this offense looked better in the second half. Run the football and open up play-action, this team is winning games, and it's fun to be 5-2 when the sports world wrote them off after one week.