Published: Wed, December 28, 2016
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Dallas Cowboys: Risking Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott Not Worth It

A lot of folks no longer consider Dez Bryant among the game's best receivers. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott threw for three touchdowns in the game, and fellow rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott burst through the line for a 55-yard score of his own. If the Raider's win they will clinch the division, but a loss combined with a Chiefs win would drop Oakland to the No. 5 seed and give the Chiefs the No. 2 seed. Even the punter got in the act, as Chris Jones laid as big a hit as you will ever see from a punter in the fourth quarter.

The outcome was a significant boost and simplification for the Redskins' playoff chances.

The game started out with both offenses firing on all cylinders and neither defense having an answer. For context, Matt Stafford is the team's third best rusher, trailing Riddick by 151 yards - or the equivalent of one Ezekiel Elliott game.

The first-year sensation known as "Zeke", who is 177 yards shy of Eric Dickerson's 33-year-old rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards, was nearly upstaged by Detroit's "double-Z" - Zach Zenner. The Green Bay Packers are now only one win behind them, and they are certainly under pressure against one of the league's strongest competitors this week. Dallas goes up 7-0. Against the Cowboys, the Lions failed to generate a consistent rush and were vulnerable to big plays downfield through the air. The defense do enough? They also lost cornerback Anthony Brown to a concussion. If you don't have those, keep reading to see how to get access.

Detroit missed a 47-yard field goal on their next drive, and Bryant put the game beyond reach with a 19-yard catch, getting his feet in bounds on the right hand side before falling into the end zone. He only had 12 carries in the game but gained 80 yards on those carries and ran for two touchdowns.

After two lackluster performances following their Thanksgiving home win over Washington, the Cowboys appear to be back on track.

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This offense is created to set up manageable situations on second and third down because Witten and slot receiver Cole Beasley are possession receivers who excel at turning third downs into first downs. In terms of defense, the Cowboys are allowing 18.4 points and 345.6 yards per game.

Stafford, on the first drive of the second half, was flushed out of the pocket to his left and forced an ill-advised throw and got intercepted.

"It's a one-game season", Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You think, 'First down, touchdown.' Last week, I think I had a run on the same play and I was looking at [a defender in the secondary] too much and he caught me on the sideline". He then lobbed a 10-yard TD pass to Jason Witten, a play that didn't work the last time they ran it in practice. But for Jay Gruden, cheering for the Cowboys will not come easily.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. It also put Dallas in front, 35-21, in the third quarter. And things were effectively ended by Irving's strip-sack of Stafford in the end zone with 4:51 left before the end of the game.

The Lions had just 127 yards in the second half after totaling 192 in the first two quarters.

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