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The top six players on the Cowboys in their win over the Giants
The Dallas Cowboys took their frustration out from the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The New York Giants just happened to be the team standing in their way.
There was a worry that this game could be similar to what happened in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals. That obviously didn’t happen as the Cowboys thoroughly dominated New York.
Dallas swept the Giants for another season, and the margin of victory over the two games was +72. The Cowboys offense was firing on all cylinders, scoring on six of their seven red zone drives, and almost set the franchise record for yards in a game with 640.
Each week, the top six players from the game will be ranked.
Depending on how the Cowboys perform, there could be the same names or six different ones every week. It won’t be based on just the best players on the roster. This way, it gives players who might not be household names the ability to shine a light on their impact for the week.
Here are the top six players from Week 10.
6. Markquese Bell, LB
Given the news surrounding starter Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys’ plans at linebacker will need to shift. Luckily, they’ve already tried to plan for this as best as possible by signing Rashaan Evans to the practice squad and giving reps to Markquese Bell.
Bell has turned into quite the player for Dallas, moving from safety to linebacker in his second season with the team. He showed tenacity in tackling spot duty last year, which made the position shift seamless.
The former HBCU player had a breakout game against the Giants in Week 1, so it’s no surprise he had success against them again. Bell made the most of his 22 snaps on defense, grading as Pro Football Focus’s fourth-best linebacker in the league for Week 10 (90.7).
Playing at least 20 percent of the snaps on defense, Bell is ranked as PFF’s eighth-best linebacker for the regular season. Given he just switched to the position this season, it is one of the most unexpected storylines of the season.
5. Rico Dowdle, RB
Rico Dowdle’s fans have been eagerly waiting to see him play like this when he first arrived in Dallas. Unfortunately, injuries had prevented him from making any progress in his NFL career until now. Dowdle made the most of his opportunities and showed his potential against the Giants on Sunday. He not only scored a rushing touchdown, but he also rushed for 79 yards off 12 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
According to the advanced metrics, Dowdle was one of the best running backs in the league for Week 10.
#Cowboys RB Rico Dowdle and his how his stats stack up in the NFL for Week 10:
• 75.4 offense grade (5th)
• 6.6 yards per attempt (5th)
• 63 yards after contact (6th)
• 5.25 yards after contact per attempt (2nd)
• 5 forced missed tackles (T-4th)
• 3 attempts for 10+ yards… pic.twitter.com/5aLu4Nw2kk
— Brandon Loree (@Brandoniswrite) November 13, 2023
In terms of yards after contact, Dowdle ranked sixth with 63 and had an average of 5.25 yards after contact per attempt. Although the run game of the Dallas team has been criticized for underperforming, the impressive performance by their second runner brings hope.
Tony Pollard should not lose his job as the starter because he showed enough glimpses of his old form on Sunday. However, this does not mean that Dowdle should not get an equal number of touches in the offense. There exists a possibility that both players can thrive and make significant contributions towards the end of the season.
4. DaRon Bland, CB
During the latest episode of The Writer’s Block Podcast, Brandon Clements mentioned that there are three things that are certain in life—death, taxes, and DaRon Bland getting five interceptions in a season.
Bland has once again proven his worth by grabbing his fifth interception of the year, which is the same number he had during his rookie season. It’s not just luck, as Bland has been actively seeking opportunities to make plays on defense, much like his teammate Trevon Diggs.
On his most recent interception, Jalin Hyatt beat both Stephon Gilmore and Malik Hooker deep. Bland immediately recognized this, abandoned his coverage, and raced to make a play on the ball. One can’t teach such natural instincts—they just come naturally.
Cowboys CB DaRon Bland’s 5th interception of the season and 10th in 26 career games pic.twitter.com/MWlkalqQ20
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 12, 2023
Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito tried his best to command their offense but attempted just 27 passes. Out of those passes, two of them went in Bland’s direction. He allowed just one completion for four yards to Darius Slayton, grading out with a 91.7 in coverage.
The Giants don’t have the best pass catchers in the NFL, but for Bland to make them one-dimensional on offense is extremely impressive.
3. Brandin Cooks, WR
If Bradon Aubrey doesn’t make the list weekly, another “Brandon” has to take his place. Finally, this game was what Cowboys fans had been hoping to see from Cooks since he was acquired this offseason.
Prior to Sunday, his season had not gone as well as Cooks expected, but he stayed positive and trusted the process. He knew that if he remained patient, his time would come, and boy, did it.
BRANDIN COOKS IS BEING USED
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/RvVT8UQU8J
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) November 12, 2023
Against the Giants, Cooks had nine receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown, averaging 13.7 yards per reception. The best thing to come out of the post-game press conferences was Dak Prescott saying it’s just the beginning for Cooks and there’ll be many more performances like that.
2. CeeDee Lamb, WR
Cedarian DeLeon Lamb is HIM.
The Cowboys’ star receiver has been on a war path to prove he’s the best wideout ever since he respectfully demanded the ball more after the 49ers loss. After his 151-yard performance against New York, he became the only player in NFL history to have three straight games of ten receptions and 150-plus yards.
CeeDee Lamb with the smooth one handed catch pic.twitter.com/HdXehIkEk8
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) November 12, 2023
From Week 8 to Week 10, Lamb has had 500 yards receiving. In the six games prior, he combined for 475 yards. What he’s doing right now and how important he is to the Dallas offense are absolutely absurd.
Not only can he score as a receiver, but Mike McCarthy pulled a reverse to Lamb out of his bag of tricks where No. 88 scored from 14 yards out untouched. What he and a few other players are doing right now for the Cowboys is something special to watch, so soak it up as much as you can.
1. Dak Prescott, QB
It’s hard to overshadow the performance that set NFL history by Lamb, but Dak Prescott could be the only player to do it. Like Lamb, Prescott has been playing outstanding football for the past few weeks.
The offense has undergone some changes that are helping the signal-caller play to his quarterback’s strengths. Although Prescott has played efficient football this year, he is now playing like an MVP.
Since Week 6 (at the Chargers), no other quarterback in the league has been playing better at the position than him.
Dak Prescott since Week 6:
– 92.8 passing grade (1st)
– 9.7 yards per attempt (1st)
– 12 passing TDs (1st)
– 10.7% big time throw rate (1st)
– 1.2% turnover worthy play rate (4th)
– 67.1% of passing yards via air yards (1st)
Second in total passing yards with a bye week
— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) November 13, 2023
Prescott had one interception on Sunday, but that shouldn’t tarnish his performance of scoring five touchdowns, four passing, and one rushing for Dallas. Despite being labeled as a “turnover machine” during the offseason, he has proven himself as a capable quarterback with a low 1.2 percent turnover-worthy play rate since Week 6, which is the fourth-best among quarterbacks.
Prescott’s current play puts him in the conversation for MVP, as there aren’t many quarterbacks performing as well as he is right now.
Over the next three weeks, the Cowboys are scheduled to play against the Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, and Seattle Seahawks, which presents an opportunity for Prescott to further improve his stats and cement his position in the MVP race.
In December, he will face the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions, which will be a true test of his abilities.
Originally posted on Blogging The Boys