The Dallas Cowboys ran all over the St. Louis Rams in a 31-7 victory, improving to 2-1 on the season and taking sole command of the NFC East and re-writing history along the way.
On the Rams’ sixth drive of the game, defensive end DeMarcus Ware sacked Rams quarterback Sam Bradford for his second sack of the day. It was sack 115 for Ware, which pushed him ahead of late defensive end Harvey Martin, who played with the franchise from 1973-83. It was also Ware’s 24th multi-sack game of his career.
Cowboys runningback DeMarco Murray had his chance to make Cowboys history as well. Having already a 253-yard game against the St. Louis Rams in 2011, DeMarco Murray was 25 yards away from having the first multi-200 yard game in franchise history. However, Murray gained 175 yards on 26 carries and produced a rushing touchdown. Once again, the Cowboys’ record when DeMarco Murray touches the ball 20 or more times is a perfect 10-0.
No one should be able to complain this week about the running game.
Tony Romo didn’t have a prolific passing game in terms of yards, only compiling 210 yards. He did have 3 touchdowns and went 17/24 throwing, his 34th game with a completion percentage of 70% or better.
Consequently, the Cowboys receivers didn’t get past 5 catches individually nor did any receiver get over 70 yards individually. Tight end Jason Witten led Cowboys receivers with five catches for 67 yards, while Dez Bryant had 1 touchdown. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris and rookie tight end Gavin Escobar each had a touchdown reception.
The special teams was the woeful unit this week. On the game’s first punt, Dwayne Harris let the John Hekker punt slip right through his breadbasket. The Rams recovered, but were unable to do anything with the extra possession, turning it over on a failed fake punt throw. Then, on the Cowboys’ seventh drive in the third quarter, Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey missed a 35-yard chip shot that would have put the Cowboys up 27-0.
The Cowboys sacked Sam Bradford 6 times, one sack away from tying Bradford’s career worst. Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant stripped Rams wide receiver Chris Givens on a big reception and then Sean Lee recovered the fumble, a product of Cowboys defenders swarming to the ball carrier from start to finish.
Dallas may not have escaped the game unscathed. Wide receiver Miles Austin left in the third quarter with a hamstring strain. Defensive end Anthony Spencer did not start, making way for defensive end Caesar Rayford and wide receiver Cole Beasley on the game day roster.
NFC East foe Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week 16-26, falling to 1-2 on the year. The New York Giants played like a bad Jerry Lewis movie on their way to 0-3 on the season. With the Redskins’ loss to Detroit, Dallas’ 2-1 supplants all NFC East records and gives them first in the division.
Dallas faces San Diego next week on the road. Coming off of a loss and themselves being 1-2, the Chargers will look to improve to .500 under new head coach Mike McCoy. The Cowboys haven’t lost in San Diego since November 13th, 1983.