Five turnovers by the Dallas Cowboys’ defense made the difference as Dak Prescott wins in his return to the field 24-6 over the Detroit Lions. The win moves Dallas to 5-2 on the season and still just under a game and a half of first place in the NFC East division.
Cowboys First Half Highlights
The first half was all about the defenses. Dallas’ rush offense was only able to contribute 52 yards throughout the first half. Dak Prescott was able to keep high completion percentage of over 75 percent but was not able to create any big plays for the Cowboys.
Dallas punted on their first two drives and the Lions punted on their first drive of the game as well. Detroit opened up the scoring with a field goal on their second drive of the game. Prescott was able to get the offense going on their third possession of the game marching 72 yards in 12 plays. Brett Maher converted on a short 22-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.
The Lions repeated another field goal on their next possession to give Detroit a 6-3 lead. After a punt from each team, the Cowboys were able to conduct a quick 70-yard drive in seven plays to get close to the red zone. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, while Noah Brown caught a pass and was flipped into the air, he fumbles the ball and Detroit recovered the ball. That play occurred with under two minutes left in the first half where the Lions ran out the clock to maintain their 6-3 lead at halftime.
Cowboys Second Half Highlights
Dallas got off to a fast start in the second half which all started with the Lions running only three plays before making their first mistake of the game. Jared Goff threw a deep ball into tight coverage which resulted in Trevon Diggs recording his third interception of the season.
Death Taxes Trevon Diggs interceptions pic.twitter.com/UnwVxPbq3z — PFF (@PFF) October 23, 2022
The Cowboys’ next offensive possession after the pick saw the offensive unit look at their best. Prescott was able to connect with CeeDee Lamb on a ten-yard completion as well as Ezekiel Elliott busted an 18-yard run. Their longest play of the game came with Tony Pollard getting a long run of his own going for 28 yards.
Tony Pollard 25 yard run! #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/35uS48tJcP — Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) October 23, 2022
Three plays later, Elliott ran it in the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run to give the Cowboys their first lead of the game up 10-6.
Ezekiel Elliot takes it in the end zone for the 1st touchdown of the Cowboys/Lions game 🔥pic.twitter.com/LsoH3Wxjqa — ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 23, 2022
Both teams would once again trade punts, but Dallas was able to see their punt returner KaVontae Turpin have a second straight week where he almost took a kickoff or punt return back for six. Turpin returned a punt 52 yards to the Detroit 41-yard line.
USFL legend KaVontae Turpin almost housed it 🏠pic.twitter.com/myilmwwW34 — Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 23, 2022
Detroit conducted a long drive after forcing a punt. It consisted of 12 plays for 79 yards as they got to the Cowboys’ one-yard line. DeMarcus Lawrence would create the biggest play of the game as he forces Jamal Williams to fumble which was recovered by Anthony Barr giving the ball back to the Cowboys.
After Dallas went three and out on offense, the defense will produce their third turnover of the game. This time it was Jourdan Lewis picking off Goff. Lewis would hurt his foot in the process and not return the rest of the game.
JOURDAN LEWIS INTERCEPTION‼️ Hope he’s okay 🙏 #CowboysNation | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/BRueCp8cyt — Cowboys Gameday (@CowboysGameday_) October 23, 2022
The Cowboys would take advantage of the turnover as Prescott had completions of 15 yards to Lamb, 10 yards to Brown, and 15 to Brown again. Those plays led to Elliott running it in for another one-yard touchdown run to put Dallas in a comfortable 17-6 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Ezekiel Elliot gets his 2nd touchdown of the night‼pic.twitter.com/ViWClXkICe — Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNationCP) October 23, 2022
Rookie defensive end Sam Williams proved his worth as he rips the ball out of Goff’s hand and creates the fourth turnover of the game for Dallas.
Sam Williams says that's my ball! Incredible play! #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/64RxpLa9RF — Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) October 23, 2022
The Cowboys would reward Prescott on his first game since week one as he threw a touchdown pass to close out the game.
First TD pass of the year for @dak goes to Peyton Hendershot for #NationalTightEndsDay!!! 📺: @NFLonCBS | #DETvsDAL pic.twitter.com/SlsUFH2CRy — Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 23, 2022
Dallas would end up seeing Micah Parsons force a fumble on Goff as the Cowboys’ defense created the fifth fumble to give the Cowboys a 24-6 win in front of the home crowd.
When looking into how the offense played, it truthfully looked a lot like it did when Cooper Rush was playing as they had a really nice balance between the run and pass. Prescott was efficient with a high completion percentage and didn’t turn the ball over. He utilized his legs a lot with a good amount of boot legs called to get him moving away from the pocket. Prescott finished the game with 207 yards and a touchdown completing 76 percent of his passes.
The running game for Dallas was the story of the game as Pollard led the way with 82 yards on just 12 carries in the win. Elliott had a nice game as well with 57 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. The Cowboys averaged over four yards a carry as both backs got long runs of over 15 yards to help the offense out.
Defense remains the name of the game for the Cowboys as they had their best performance of the season. Five turnovers were created with two interceptions and three fumbles. The defense got five sacks on Goff including two sacks and a fumble recovery by rookie defensive end Sam Williams. Dallas’ rush defense had been questioned all week, but that changed today allowing 117 yards on the ground.
The Cowboys increase their record to 5-2 and still find themselves in the hunt for the NFC East division title race as well as first in the NFC conference. Dallas will remain at home next Sunday as they will take on the Chicago Bears in the early kickoff time.