Andy Dalton didn't have as much success as he'd have liked in nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. But today, playing in Paul Brown Stadium for the first time with visiting team, he was a winner as the Dallas Cowboys posted a 30-7 victory in Week 14.
There was no Goliath in this late-season matchup; Dallas entered the game with just three wins and Cincinnati with two. Some might even argue that the outcome works more in the Bengals' favor when it comes to draft positioning.
But the Dalton and the Cowboys don't appear to be tanking. The 10th-year veteran threw for two touchdowns and posted a 122.6 passer rating as Dallas posted their biggest margin of victory of 2020. Their previous wins had all by just three points or less.
The Cowboys were up 17-7 at halftime thanks to three lost fumbles by the Bengals. One of those was returned by Aldon Smith for a touchdown and the others set up Dallas for scores.
Outside of the turnovers Cincinnati was doing okay offensively. They posted 196 yards of offense in the first half exploiting the same soft defense we've seen from Dallas most of the year. To their credit, the Cowboys tightened up in the second half and only allowed 113 yards while keeping the Bengals off the scoreboard.
This win may not matter much if the season continues as expected. However, with the Giants losing today in Arizona and Washington yet to play their game at San Francisco, maybe the NFC East will become a little more winnable by the end of the day.
- Amari Cooper and Tony Pollard were the recipients of Dalton's touchdown passes. Cooper led all Cowboys receivers today with four catches and 51 yards.
- Pollard had a 60-yard kickoff return today, following up a 66-yarder from Tuesday night in Baltimore. After getting a lot of flack for poor special teams play earlier this season the second-year RB may finally have found his KR mojo again
- Greg Zuerlein went 3/3 today, including a 55-yarder, to bounce back from his woeful 1/4 performance last week.
- Tyrone Crawford picked up two sacks late in the game after Cincinnati's Ryan Finley entered at QB following an injury to Brandon Allen. They were his first sacks of 2020 and first since Week 2 of last season.
- It was a rough day overall for Ezekiel Elliott, who started despite a calf injury that limited him during the week in practice. Elliott finished with 48 yards on 12 carries, most of which came on a 26-yard run late in the game.