Brett Maher hit a 50-yarder in the final seconds to give the Cowboys their first win of 2022. After building an early 17-3 lead at halftime, Dallas had to fight off a second-half rally by the Cincinnati Bengals but did just enough to finish 20-17.
Cooper Rush, starting his second career game thanks to Dak Prescott's thumb injury, looked sharp early but the offense was mostly stunted after halftime. However, Rush made the critical plays on the final drive to advance the ball and set up Maher's game-winner.
Rush finished with 235 passing yards and one touchdown, an early-game connection with Noah Brown. It was the top moment in a great day overall for Brown, who led Dallas with 91 receiving yards on five catches.
CeeDee Lamb chipped in 75 yards on seven catches, a nice recovery from last week. Both he and Dalton Schultz had some scary moments with lower leg injuries during the game but both were able to return to action after some medical attention.
Early in the game, the Cowboys' defense was nearly unstoppable. Dorance Armstrong and Micah Parsons each had two sacks, with two more coming from Dante Fowler and Leighton Vander Esch. If not for a couple of roughness calls against Anthony Barr and Donovan Wilson, Cincy's offense would have been completely shut down in the first half.
But we expect greatness from the likes of Parsons and Trevon Diggs, who made a critical 3rd-down tackle to stop the Bengals' last possession and give his offense a chance to win. This game was about guys like Rush, Brown, and Maher defying expectations and coming up big.
The game-winner was Maher's second make of the day after a 54-yarder just before halftime. He is now 3/3 on the year and all of them have been from 50 yards or more.
Dallas now joins Washington at 1-1 and prepares for the 2-0 Giants next week on Monday Night Football. The Eagles will play the late game this Monday.
Once again, Cooper Rush did the job as the backup quarterback. A guy who nobody ever seems to want, even his own team in 2020, and he's now 2-0 as a starter in Dallas after today and last year's win in Minnesota.
With Prescott out at least a few more games, hopefully Rush can keep it going with divisional play starting next week.