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DAL 36, CAR 28: Elliott, Diggs Lead Cowboys to 3-1

The Cowboys put up 23 unanswered points and turned a first-half slugfest with the Panthers into a slaughter. The final score of 36-28 against Carolina moves Dallas to 3-1 on the season.

Ezekiel Elliott led the offense with 143 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 20 carries. It was Zeke’s highest rushing total since 2018, with nearly 100 yards coming in just the second half.

Dak Prescott put up four passing touchdowns despite only having 188 yards, doing his part as a drive-finisher and making some critical plays when it mattered. One of his best moments came on the ground, scrambling on a 4th-down play and ripping off a 21-yard run one a first-half drive.

Trevon Diggs recorded two interceptions, giving him five for the year and making Defensive Player of the Year a real conversation now. But our new superstar wasn’t the only stud in the secondary; Anthony Brown had a solid performance in coverage and Jayron Kearse continued to show up in multiple spots.

The front line also got into the action. Randy Gregory had two sacks in the first half to lead a five-sack day; Micah Parsons and Tarell Basham added one each while Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston split another.

It wasn’t total dominance; Sam Darnold through for over 300 yards and and scored four two touchdowns, two of which he ran in. The Panthers runners totaled 113 yards overral.

Still, this game showed things we’ve longed to see from the Cowboys. They looked much stronger after halftime and made big plays on both sides of the ball to take and hold momentum. While Carolina ultimately lost by eight, the true story of the game wasn’t so close.

The win maintains Dallas’ lead in the NFC East as Washington was also victorious against Atlanta, moving them to 2-2. The Eagles and Giants are now both 1-3 after Philly lost to Kansas City and New York got their first win of 2021 over the Saints.

The Cowboys will host those Giants next Sunday.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by 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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  1. Man Diggs is just BALLIN, I guess our team as a whole are ballin, great team win, so much for that #1 Defense I’ve heard about all week

  2. Another good team win! I hope we learn how to have NO MERCY on our opponent’s and keep the petal to the floor when we are up ! Anybody remember back in the Nineties when we had the Giants down a couple of scores and they came back to beat us or when we had the Lions down and let up and they came back? I remember when we had the Cardinals down by two touchdowns with two minutes left in the game and they came back and beat us ! This is something that the coaches have to preach to the players and not get to conservative!

  3. Anthony brown should have been cut at halftime.. he has been bad all year but especially embarrassing today..
    solid as stated in article ☀️☀️

  4. Passing game and running game are clicking. Perfect balance that makes it hard to defend against us. Need to maintain the intensity throughout the game, and that could come back to bite us down the line. I know we pulled some starters, but careful not to do that too soon. Alot to like about this team moving forward. Young guys playing well and getting valuable experience. Will be getting guys back from injury. Hopefully MM doesn’t lose games for us with his questionable decision making.

  5. I guess the opinions, including mine, of EE’s decline have been premature. He had a great performance today.

    DP doesn’t have to throw for 400 yards for us to win games. Just be efficient, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers, as he did today. Along with a balanced attack.

    Diggs again

    Agree with others, got to keep the hammer down. Didn’t like that offensive burst by Panthers in the fourth quarter. Made it closer than preferable. But good WIN in the end

  6. I have been saying for years now, just winning your division (esp. the weakest one in the league) isn’t the high bar standard excellent organizations set. I like what I’ve been reading about our player’s quotes saying that the culture and attitude is different. From comments like “building something special” to “we all feed” to players being happy for their counterpart’s success, to rookies from the last 2 drafts leading this team (which BTW is the 3rd youngest roster in the nfl!!) I absolutely love what I am hearing/reading/seeing. IMAGINE WHEN ALL OUR INJURED STARTERS COME BACK?!? Other than our Head Coach being an idiot we have to love what our team is doing right now. Enjoy it my fellow long suffering (26 years!!!) Boys fans. Heck, perhaps Jerry fires MM and elevates Kellen or gives Quinn the HC gig next season.

  7. Yeah VAM I to was in on predicting Zeke’s demise too early, but he’s put in the work, got his weight down, and got himself in better shape (might’ve helped that he got a kick in the pants with Pollard breathing down his neck) and he’s playing well, he’s got some that burst he had early on in his career back,

    I believe that with Pollard, Zeke becomes an even better back, for one teams can’t really catch their breath when Zeke goes out, cuz Pollard comes in and does his damage,

    plus with Pollard taking some of the workload, that allows Zeke to be fresh when goes in and runs, allowing to play to the best of his ability every time

    Doing this also will help preserve Zeke for longer time, as much as like D Henry of the Titans, I figure his workload is gonna eventually come back to bite him, it does to everyone, even to Adrian Peterson

    The boys have really been impressive so far, now I’m curious as to whether in this bad division, could we possibly get #1 Seed ?

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