If you're going to win the NFC East, you might as well do it in style. The Dallas Cowboys bludgeoned the Washington Commanders on Sunday to clinch the division and the No. 2 seed. Like most of their trips to FedEx Field, the Cowboys got off to a precious start, but they made their rivals quit by halftime.
Dak Prescott put together another MVP-caliber performance with 279 yards and four touchdowns before he was pulled early in the fourth quarter. He was perfect when targeting CeeDee Lamb, who had another monster day, and Micah Parsons notched his 14th sack of the season to set a new career-high.
It was a typical dominant Cowboys performance, which have become the expectation this season against lesser teams. The next time they take the field will be in the first round of the playoffs, so let's highlight some players who are trending up at the perfect time, and one who's trending in the opposite direction.
At the risk of being obvious, we're going to stay way from Prescott, Lamb and Parsons and heap some praise on other player.s
Cowboy whose stock is soaring: Tony Pollard
Cowboys fans have been quick to jump Tony Pollard for the run game's struggles this season. While Pollard deserves to shoulder some of the blame for that, his recent form proves he wasn't fully recovered from his devastating leg and ankle injury suffered in last year's playoffs.
Pollard still hasn't topped 80 rushing yards in a game since Week 3, but he's hitting holes more regularly and breaking more tackles than earlier in the season. In fact, since Week 9, he ranks third among RBs in rushing grade, fifth in yards after contact and third in missed tackles forced, per PFF's John Owning.
It's important not to judge a player by the box score. Pollard only rushed for 71 yards against the Commanders, but it was arguably his best game of the season. He ran with power and it often took three or four defenders to bring him down.
Pollard finally looks like the Pro Bowler who took the NFL by storm last season. That's great news for the Cowboys heading into Sunday's playoff game against the Packers soft run defense.