The Dallas Cowboys got more than they bargained for in Week 17 as the Tennessee Titans pushed them to their limit. An unexpected switch from Malik Willis to Josh Dobbs helped the Tennessee offense find a spark, as did a few turnovers from Dallas.
A strong second half was needed in order to put the home team away and keep the hopes for a run at the NFC East alive. Now, we look back at the victory and identify some studs and duds for Dallas.
Cowboys studs and duds Week 17
Stud: Micah Parsons, Linebacker
Even with a club on one hand, Micah Parsons made quite the impact on this game. The second-year linebacker was constantly getting in the face of Josh Dobbs. He didn’t record a sack but he hurried several passes and was able to hit Dobbs often.
Parsons even drew a penalty that forced the Titans to re-think going for a fourth-down conversion as Dennis Daley was clearly worried about No. 11 getting past him.
If that wasn’t enough, Parsons shut down a running play when he originally appeared to be on the sideline at one point.
Stat scouts might see that Parsons had just one tackle and think he was ineffective but he really played well and even recovered a fumble despite having just one hand free.
Dud: Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
He did keep an impressive touchdown streak going as Ezekiel Elliot ran one in for the ninth game in a row but overall, he wasn’t very effective in Week 17.
With Tony Pollard out, Elliott managed to gain just 37 yards on 19 carries which is an average of just 1.9 yards per attempt. Yes, Tennessee has a great run defense but they were without several starters on the defensive line. Not only that, but rookie Malik Davis had two more yards than Zeke with nine fewer attempts.
Elliott has looked much better this season than in 2021 but this wasn’t his top performance of the year.