Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13435787bl) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) catches a touchdown pass as Washington Commanders safety Kamren Curl (31) defends in the second half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas Commanders Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 02 Oct 2022
Dallas earns their third straight win taking a 25-10 victory over the Washington Commanders in Jerry World. The story of this game was much of the same that we have seen the first few weeks of the season. More defense. Less offense. Despite Washington leading in time of possession, the Cowboys’ defense did not break, forcing two turnovers and limiting Carson Wentz to 170 yards passing.
Cooper Rush finished with 223 yards passing and two touchdowns on 15-27 pass attempts. Rush found himself responsible for most of the offense in this one as both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard struggled to gain any significant ground. Zeke averaged just 2.6 yards per carry on 19 rushes, while Pollard finished with eight carries for six yards.
Having Michael Gallup back in the lineup for the Cowboys certainly seemed to help draw attention away from Ceedee Lamb. He pulled in six catches for 97 yards with a touchdown. Gallup, who was making his season debut after tearing his ACL last season, pulled in a touchdown of his own. He finished with two catches for 24 yards.
Donovan Wilson is proving to be one of the true catalysts of this defense, leading the team with eight tackles. He entered the game graded as the second-best safety in football by PFF.
The Cowboys started the game off with the ball and were able to turn their opening drive into points. Ezekiel Elliott got going early with a 31-yard reception setting the Cowboys in field goal range. Brett Maher knocked in his first field goal of the day from 53 yards out, giving the Cowboys a 3-0 lead early.
Dallas’ defense continued to hold strong as they have all season, keeping the Commanders in check through the rest of the first quarter. The offense struggled to gain any real momentum early on as the running game stalled out, and the pass had not yet been established. The Cowboys would lead 3-0 after the first quarter.
Ceedee Lamb had great chemistry with Cooper Rush by the time the second quarter hit, pulling in three catches for 56 yards on consecutive plays. However, a bad throw intended for Noah Brown and a Rush scramble that came up short set the Cowboys up for another field goal opportunity. Dallas had found themselves to be falling short often when in enemy territory. Maher makes the 45-yard try to give Dallas a 6-0 lead.
After both teams traded three-and-outs, Washington got the ball back with over ten minutes to go in the half. This turned into Washington’s best drive of the half as they drove down the field 65 yards and capped it off with a touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson, which gave the Commanders a 7-6 lead.
Dallas answered right back on the next possession after a 15-play drive that ran up to the one-minute mark in the half. With just over a minute to play in the half, Michael Gallup catches a nine-yard touchdown pass to give the Cowboys the lead 12-7. Gallup showed his value in his first game back since the torn ACL last season.
Washington got the ball back with a minute left to play in the half. After converting on third down, Carson Wentz, in an effort to continue the drive and potentially get into field goal range, Trevon Diggs picks off Wentz to end the half. The league interception leader racks up his second of the season. At halftime, the Cowboys led 12-7.
The Commanders opened the second half with the football, where they ran a six-play drive ending in a punt. The Dallas defense continues to play very well under Dan Quinn, refusing to let teams finish their offensive possessions.
With about eight minutes left in the third quarter, Dallas led a five-play drive, which resulted in a 28-yard field goal from Maher, giving the Cowboys the lead 15-7. The play to set up that opportunity was a 45-yard strike to Noah Brown down the field. Rush and Brown are proving they have chemistry with the reps they have taken working with the second unit.
Washington worked their way down the field on the following possession, getting to the Cowboy 17-yard-line. On the next play, the Dallas pass rush gets to Wentz, forcing him into intentional grounding driving them back to the 31-yard-line. The drive would ultimately end in a 45-yard field goal from Joey Slye, narrowing the Cowboys’ lead to five. At the end of the third quarter, Dallas led 15-10.
The Cowboys once again answer back on the next drive. On a pass intended for Gallup, Washington DB William Jackson commits pass interference giving the Cowboys 38 yards on the play. Two plays later, Rush connects with a wide-open Ceedee Lamb on a 30-yard touchdown giving Dallas a 22-10 lead. This would be Lamb’s second touchdown catch of the season.
With about 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, the defense stepped up once again, forcing Carson Wentz’s second interception of the day. Rookie, DaRon Bland, pulls in his first career interception giving the Cowboys excellent field position on the ensuing drive.
The offensive inconsistency continued as the drive ended in a 29-yard field goal. Dallas took the lead 25-10 with under four minutes to play.
The Cowboys held up for the remainder of the game as the game finished 25-10 in favor of the Cowboys. Dallas moves to 3-1 on the season as Washington drops to last place in the NFC East at 1-3.
Dallas has a tough matchup ahead as they move to the west coast to play the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The hope is for Dak Prescott to be back to play next week, but his timeline for his return is still uncertain at this point.