All three phases of the team (offense, defense, special teams) contributed in the win, but the play of Cooper Rush is what really stood out. After only scoring three points in the first half, Rush seemed to settle down in the second half and led the Cowboys on two huge touchdown drives.
Wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb both had 100-yard receiving games and they made huge catches all night to extend drives. The game-winning touchdown was a little Cooper to Cooper action as Rush found Amari in the back corner of the end zone to take the lead.
Amari finished the game with 8 receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown, including three catches for 56 yards on the game-winning drive. Games like this are why you pay big money for a player like Cooper. He has the ability to take over the game at any point.
But, that game-winning touchdown would not have been possible without the extraordinary effort from running back Ezekiel Elliott on 3rd &11. Simple check-down plays do not usually result in 15-yard gains, but Zeke defied the odds on this one,
Also, I can not say enough about Cedrick Wilson and his impact on this game. The first drive of the second half Wilson bolted down the seem and scored a 73-yard touchdown. One that gave the offense some life and swung the momentum back to Dallas.
Not to be overshadowed is the absolute seed of a pass Wilson threw to Lamb on a trick play. This play led to a game-tying field goal at the end of the third quarter.
The defense was sensational again Sunday night, after giving up a first-drive touchdown they totally shut down Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense the rest of the night. The run defense did their job holding running back Dalvin Cook to 78 rushing yards.
Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons was all over the field, recording 11 total tackles and four tackles for loss. Randy Gregory got another sack and continued to flash with constant pressure on Cousins all night.
This is a game that the Cowboys from years past do not win. For example, being back in 2017 when Tyron Smith was out the Cowboys’ replacement left tackle gave up six sacks to Adrian Clayborn. Or even the years Tony Romo got hurt before Dak, and quarterbacks like Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden filled in. Those seasons went to waste, but not this year, not this team.
Rush made his first career start, lost Tyron Smith for the second half, La’el Collins got limited playing time, no DeMarcus Lawrence and they still found a way to win. To me, that is a sign that times are changing in Dallas.
There should be tons of credit given to the coaching staff especially Mike McCarthy, Kellen Moore, and Dan Quinn. They put their players in the best possible position to succeed and without star quarterback Dak Prescott, they never wavered, never quit, just kept competing, and came out victorious.
Now that the win streak has been extended to six games, the 6-1 Cowboys are atop the NFC with the Rams (7-1), Packers (6-1), and Cardinals (6-1), the ‘Boys should have their sites set on the number one seed in the conference and you can not afford to give up any games in such a competitive race.
Hopefully, Dak will be able to return for next Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, but if not we should feel a lot better about starting Cooper Rush after the effort he put forth in his first career start. The Cowboys are playing at an extremely high level, so fans should strap in and enjoy the ride because this team has a chance to do something special.