Cowboys’ defense forces five turnovers in Dak’s return, earn a 24-6 win over Detroit

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Roger Steinman/AP/Shutterstock (13488843bx) The Dallas Cowboys recover the fumble by Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams at the 1-yard line during the second half of an NFL football game, in Arlington, Texas Lions Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 23 Oct 2022

Cowboys’ defense forces five turnovers in Dak’s return, earn a 24-6 win over Detroit

The Dallas Cowboys would earn their fifth win of the season and their first with Dak Prescott under center with a victory over the Detroit Lions 24-6 in Jerry World. Dallas put together a great second half outscoring the Lions 21-0 in the half and forcing five turnovers defensively.

The focus pre-game was on Dak’s return, but this game became all about the defense. An incredible three forced fumbled and two interceptions contributed to a phenomenal defensive day for Dallas. The identity did not seem to change in this one. Play hard defense and commit to the run.

Dak threw for 207 yards and a touchdown on 19-25 passing. Prescott struggled at times to hit open receivers and showed some rust after coming off the thumb injury, but was able to do just enough to get the job done. Zeke Elliott contributed two rushing scores to help Dallas in the red zone. Those two scores came on 15 carries for 57 yards, while Tony Pollard put up 83 yards on 12 carries.

Dak’s opening drive did not go as planned as the Cowboys went three and out to start the game. Dak’s first pass attempt was a rollout intended for Noah Brown, but the throw went over the head of Brown resulting in an incompletion.

Both teams would trade three-and-outs until the nine-minute mark in the first quarter when Detroit put together solid drive leading to their first points of the afternoon. The Lions led a 10-play drive that would result in a 40-yard field goal from Michael Badgley giving them the lead 3-0.

Dallas would answer right back on the following drive with a field goal of their own. The Cowboys put together a 12-play drive working their way to the Detroit 3-yard line. However, the red zone offense continues its struggles as they settle for a Brett Maher 22-yard chip shot to tie the game 3-3 early in the second quarter.

The following drive would give the Lions the lead back after another field goal. The Cowboy defense has done a great job all year of not allowing game-breaking drives and this was a perfect example. The Lions had to settle for a 53-yard field goal, which was Badgley’s season long to this point. Detroit took the 6-3 lead with eight minutes left in the first half.

The first half would not see another score though the Cowboys came close with about a minute left. Dallas worked their way deep into Detroit territory with under two minutes to go in the half. The drive would end abruptly though following a fumble from Noah Brown inside the 5-yard line giving the ball back to Detroit. The Lions would lead the Cowboys at the half 6-3 in an underwhelming offensive showing.

Detroit would start the second half with the ball, but their possession would not last long. On the third play of the drive, Lions QB Jared Goff took a deep shot down the field, which ended up in the hands of Trevon Diggs for an interception. This is Diggs’ third interception of the season. The Cowboys would regain possession at their own 18-yard line.

The first touchdown of the game would come on behalf of the Cowboys on the drive following the interception. Dallas would lead an eight-play drive with the help of a pair of big runs from both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard which resulted in an Elliott 1-yard touchdown run giving Dallas the lead 10-6.

The Lions threatened to take the lead early on in the fourth quarter pushing the ball all the way to the Cowboys’ 1-yard line. However, RB Jamaal Williams would fumble the ball in an effort to punch it into the end zone, which Dallas LB Anthony Barr recovered to give Dallas the ball back deep in their own territory.

After an unsuccessful Cowboys drive, the Lions would regain possession with just under ten minutes left in the fourth quarter. Goff would then throw his second interception of the game to Jourdan Lewis giving the football back to Dallas at the 46-yard line.

Almost a full quarter’s worth of time would go by before the scoreboard changed. Dallas would strike again with another Zeke Elliott touchdown that was punched in from the 1-yard line. The Cowboys marched down the field on 13 plays despite starting at around midfield to score their second touchdown of the day giving them a 17-6 lead with just under three minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys’ defense struck again on the Lions’ next possession. Rookie DE Sam Williams forced a Jared Goff fumble on the second play of the drive allowing Dallas to regain possession at the Lions’ 24-yard line.

Dak would finally throw his first touchdown pass of the season on a 2-yard throw to TE Peyton Hendershot giving the Cowboys a 24-6 lead with just under two minutes to play. The play was set up by a 25-yard run from Tony Pollard putting the Cowboys within the Lions’ 5-yard line.

With a Dallas victory seeming more like a certainty, the defense did not take their foot of the gas pedal. The pass rush still attacked Goff and the Detroit offensive line forcing yet another fumble from Goff giving the Cowboys the ball back to run victory formation. Micah Parsons forced the fumble and DeMarcus Lawrence recovered.

Dallas would run the clock out and seal a 24-6 victory over the Lions at home. The offense left some to be desired, but the defensive side of the football was outstanding once again. The Cowboys will take on the Chicago Bears in Arlington next week.

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