ARLINGTON, Texas – While it was a bit tougher this time around, the Cowboys still ended another game against a New York team with a one-sided blowout.
The Cowboys were able to lean on an aggressive defense again and the offense made just enough plays to keep points on the board.
Here are some plays that might not be remembered, but were significant to the final score.
Dak’s scramble sets up a TD – The Cowboys made a questionable decision to start the game by taking the ball after winning the toss. The best way to offset that is to go score a touchdown. From the Jets’ 20-yard line, the Cowboys had a third-and-6, but Dak Prescott made up the difference and then some with a 15-yard scramble to the Jets’ 5. Three plays later, Jake Ferguson caught Prescott’s first TD pass of the season, giving the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.
Running into a “Tank”– Talk about setting the tone for a game. The Cowboys knew they had to stop the run and make the Jets one-dimensional. On the first play from scrimmage, DeMarcus Lawrence knifed through the line of scrimmage to drop Breece Hall for a 4-yard loss. From there, the Jets never got anything established in the running game.
Sauce drops a potential pick-6 – With the Jets trying to seize the momentum after a long TD pass to Garrett Wilson, the defense nearly got them another one when Sauce Gardner stepped in front of a Prescott sideline pass. Gardner dropped the pick that likely would’ve been taken to the house for a go-ahead touchdown. Instead, the Cowboys converted a third-down to KaVontae Turpin on the next play and eventually scored to grab a 17-7 lead.
P.I. on Jets’ Echols – On that same scoring drive, it appeared as if the Cowboys were going to have to settle for a field goal attempt when facing a third-and-goal from the 13-yard line. Prescott fired a pass to Jalen Tolbert in the end zone but the Jets were flagged for pass interference on Brandin Echols. That put the ball on the 1, where Prescott then threw a touchdown to tight end Luke Schoonmaker, which was followed by a successful two-point conversion. Instead of leading 13-7, the Cowboys had an 18-7 edge.
First two plays of second half – Here’s a two-for-one here, but it’s how the Jets started the second half, facing exactly what they saw in the first – a lot of defensive pressure. On the first play, Micah Parsons was screaming off the edge and forced Zach Wilson into a quick throw for no gain, intended for Breece Hall, who then got the carry on the second play and was stuffed for a 2-yard loss. That put New York behind the eight-ball again, especially after a false start penalty. And instead of the Jets driving to get back in the game to start the third quarter, they had to punt, resulting in Dallas getting good field position and eventually another field goal.
Aubrey’s first big FG made – Not only was his 55-yard field goal in the third quarter a big step for rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey, but it really changed the complexity of the game. Mike McCarthy could’ve easily been more conservative at the Jets’ 38-yard line and punted the ball with his team up, 21-10. But risking a long field goal by Aubrey could’ve put the Jets in great field position at their own 45-yard line with a missed kick. That would have been the kind of spark they needed to get back in the game. But with Aubrey drilling the kick, it not only gave him more confidence and the team more confidence in him, but it also provided the Cowboys a commanding 14-point lead.