The Dallas Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers, 36-28
ARLINGTON – The Dallas Cowboys are pretty good this year and showed more promise in a 36-28 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The win was just the Cowboys’ second victory in their last nine games after a short week due to a Monday night football contest.
Here are four more observations of the Cowboys victory.
First down: a rare comeback victory
Something rarely seen during the Mike McCarthy era happened on Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys overcame a halftime deficit to win.
Granted, this is a small sample, but Dallas was 1-7 under McCarthy when he was trailing at halftime entering the contest, including a 0-1 record this past. season.
Another trend continued with Sunday’s victory, a clear advantage on the pitch.
I’m old enough to remember when the world laughed at the Cowboys struggling to win at AT&T stadium. These problems have almost disappeared since the arrival of Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys are 26-12 since the start of the 2016 season with Prescott under center with the signalman throwing 68 touchdown passes and just 22 home interceptions during that span.
While the rushed offense was key to the comeback victory over the Panthers, Prescott still had four touchdown passes. Prescott edged Danny White for second place in Cowboys history for most games with three or more touchdowns.
Second down: I can diggs it
Trevon Diggs claims to be the best player named Diggs in the NFL, along with his brother, Stefon, a wide receiver with the Bills. Trevon is certainly cementing himself among the Cowboys’ all-time great defensive backs in just his second season.
Young Diggs had two more interceptions against the Panthers, extending the Cowboys’ streak of forcing multiple turnovers in a game at an impressive eight, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
Diggs is the first player in team history to record an interception in each of the first four games of a season since the NFL merger and tied him for the longest interception streak in history of the Cowboys.
A statistic that I doubt anyone saw entering this year? Both Diggs brothers have caught an assist in each of the first four games this season.
Third down: Elliott was fed (the ball)
Something like a trend has developed for Ezekiel Elliott over the past couple of weeks.
The Cowboys have consistently given the ball to their star running back since losing the opener to Tampa Bay.
Another trend developed from the Eagles game – Elliott was running a lot. How much? Sixteen of his 17 ground attempts against Philadelphia were on the left side of the offensive line.
In the first half on Sunday, most of Elliott’s rushing attempts had been from the left side. However, it was all a setup.
As Dallas led 20-14 in the third quarter and the momentum was on their side, Elliott started on the left before retreating to the right and gaining 47 yards to set up a possible touchdown.
The 47-yard gain was the longest for Elliott since a 55-yard touchdown against Detroit on December 26, 2016.
Fourth at the bottom: let me introduce myself
Randy Gregory has made a habit of chatting with opposing quarterbacks over the past few years. Gregory presented himself twice to Sam Darnold on Sunday, registering two sacks in the first half.
It was Gregory’s third career multi-sack game and his first since recording 1.5 sacks against Philadelphia last December.
Gregory topped his 2019 sack production (3.5) in just three games this season. Sunday has gotten Gregory to 4 sacks this year, and he’s on the verge of surpassing his career high of six sacks in an established season in 2018.
The Nebraska product finished 12th in the NFL last season in pressure percentage (14.7) according to Pro Football Focus. He either punched, squeezed or sacked the opposing quarterback in 25 of his 170 pass rush attempts last year.