DAL 26, TB 20: Ezekiel Elliott, David Irving Lead Cowboys to Victory ✭
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DAL 26, TB 20: Ezekiel Elliott, David Irving Lead Cowboys to Victory

Ezekiel Elliott, Zeke Elliott, Salvation Army Kettle, Buccaneers

Game Notes

DAL 26, TB 20: Ezekiel Elliott, David Irving Lead Cowboys to Victory

DAL 26, TB 20: Ezekiel Elliott, David Irving Lead Cowboys to Victory

With the focus on Dak Prescott going into the game, Ezekiel Elliott reminded us all why he may be the team’s true MVP.

Ezekiel ElliottElliott scorched Tampa Bay with 159 yards rushing, a new career-high, and another 29 receiving. He also added a touchdown, capped off with a hop into the Salvation Army kettle that may be the TD celebration of the year.

Elliott’s huge day only increases his lead in the NFL rushing race. He is now 327 yards ahead of his nearest challenger, DeMarco Murray.

While Elliott was the dominant force, Prescott did plenty take the heat off himself. After a week of hearing how Dallas might want to consider going back to Tony Romo, Prescott responded with 89% passing for 279 yards. He got back to playing turnover-free football and also added a rushing touchdown.

Meanwhile, on defense, an unexpected hero emerged. David Irving, who was in line to get more playing time with both DeMarcus Lawrence and Cedric Thornton out, made several key plays. Irving finished with two sacks, a pass deflection and five QB hits.

Irving came alive especially in the second half, stepping up when the Bucs started to find offensive rhythm. His disruptive plays came at crucial moments and helped Dallas fight off Tampa, who managed to tie the game at 20-20 after being down 17-6 at halftime.

Other Notes

  • Jason Witten led the team with 10 catches. He moved to 7th all-time in NFL history for receptions, passing Terrell Owens. He only a few catches away from passing Tim Brown, Cris Carter, and other greats to to move even higher up the list.
  • Dez Bryant bounced back from his one-catch night against the Giants with eight receptions for 82 yards. He was only targeted 10 times, so it was far better efficiency than many games he’s had this year.
  • Though he only got a few touches, Darren McFadden showed why Dallas prefers him to Alfred Morris. He was able to hit the hole with burst and also provided some versatility as he lined up at fullback and receiver at times. Even if it’s just fresh legs giving him the advantage, McFadden looks like a more dangerous weapon than Morris did.
  • After many expressed confusion as to why Dallas cut Darius Jackson instead of Lance Dunbar, the veteran RB almost had a nice receiving touchdown. It got called back on a holding penalty, as did many nice plays tonight.
  • In a rare feat for the Dallas defense, they recorded three interceptions! Byron Jones got the first of his career, snagging a Hail Mary attempt at the end of the first half. Jeff Heath was standing in the path of an overthrown ball and secured the catch. Orlando Scandrick ended the game with a juggling catch on another poor throw.
  • After missing two long attempts, Dan Bailey fell below Baltimore’s Justin Tucker as the NFL’s all-time leader in field-goal accuracy. Tucker is at 89.6% after going 2/2 against the Eagles today. Despite making four other kicks, Bailey’s career percentage dropped to 89.4%.
  • Tough not credited with a sack, Benson Mayowa made several key plays in the backfield. He helped pressure Jameis Winston several times and also had some tackles for loss against the run. It was his most impactful performance all year.

Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I’ll be sure to respond!

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