The Dallas Cowboys (7-3) are being talked about in the NFL spectrum about two big time areas: Their role in the eventual Odell Beckham Jr saga, and their dominant win in Minnesota vs the Vikings.
Against the Vikings, the Cowboys were near perfect. Winning in one-sided fashion on all three phases of the game.
Dak Prescott completed 88% of his passes, Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence combined for three sacks and six QB knockdowns.
Maher made and two 60-yard field goals (even though only one counted), and the time of possession and turnover margins favored Dallas heavily.
It is hard to pin down just who may have a lowered stock from week 11. There are a few, but in this case, the positives will heavily outweigh the negatives.
As always, high-profile players who’ll factor in weekly such as Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons or Zack Martin are exempt from this list as they play at elite levels frequently. Or at least, are expected to.
- RB Tony Pollard – Pretty soon Pollard is going to start being mentioned with Cowboys who we expect to perform every week and don’t include on here. But we need to acknowledge the dominating game on the ground an air. 21 total touches, 189 combined yards and two touchdowns. Another dominant performance.
- LB Jabril Cox – Despite only playing seven snaps, Cox still managed three tackles to his name in his return to the very stadium he tore his ACL last season. In addition to being graded as one of the highest performing players of the game, according to PFF. Redemption.
- Edge Dorance Armstrong – Second on the team in sacks (7) is Armstrong. Sunday was just another example of this breakout year that many pegged as a settlement for losing Randy Gregory. Two sacks, two tackles for loss, three QB pressures. Playing as both and edge and interior rusher.
SACK – Armstrong will NOT be denied vs one of the best LT in the league – when Dallas figures out how to stop the run consistently this D will dominate #DALvsMIN #DallasCowboys #NFL pic.twitter.com/qnoSljQpvY— 🏈 🗳️ Steven Van Over (@StevenVanOver) November 20, 2022
- OL Tyler Smith – Smith had a bounce back game following his struggles against Green Bay. In a big time way. Playing 100% of the snaps and giving up 0 pressures, QB hits, sacks, and QB hurries. Even when switching to guard in the second half, which could be where he plays for the foreseeable future.
- Edge Sam Williams – Not only is Sam Williams starting to become one of the team’s best pass rushers, he’s playing as one of the best run stopping defensive linemen on the team. Only behind Lawrence and Chauncey Golston undoubtedly. Switching between both edge spots, Williams was a force in the run game, brining down the ball carrier twice behind the line of scrimmage.
- DL Chauncey Golston – Golston was inactive against Green Bay and active for this game against Minnesota. He finished as one of the Dallas Cowboys best run defenders in the game, setting the edges and reminding how important it is to have your run defenders play on a team that needs them.
- LB Damone Clark – Alongside fellow LSU alumni, Jabril Cox, Clark is seeing an uptick in snaps on defense with Anthony Barr out. Playing with speed and constantly around the ball carrier. Finishing the game with three tackles and giving Cowboys fans a glimpse at the future at the linebacker position.
- K Brett Maher – Maher was money, converting all eight kicks. Four extra points and four field goals (16 points), including two 60-yard field goals in a 2 minute (real time) span.
- DT Neville Gallimore – Gallimore played more snaps (24) than any other Cowboys defensive tackle. Finishing with three tackles on the game. Not bad for a player many thought would be traded/released by the trade deadline.
- TE Dalton Schultz – On the game, Schultz played fine. Three catches on five targets for 22 yards, as well as the key block down field for one of Pollard’s touchdowns. What should have been a touchdown catch or should have been penalized hurt, but the Dallas Cowboys overcame despite. What hurts Schultz is how this game shapes the future. The offense is fine using the rookie combo of Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot. Injuries aside, Pollard now jumps him as the Cowboys most valuable free agent to be.
- CB Kelvin Joseph – Joseph left the game with an illness, off the heels of struggling against the Packers. Making Anthony Brown, returning from a concussion, play full time. His two pass breakups were among the best on the team, and reiterating that despite Brown’s struggles this season, he’s still the better option across from Trevon Diggs.
- OL Connor McGovern – McGovern actually played well for the game, but his future as a starter is on a ticking clock. In the second half, Jason Peters came in at left tackle and Tyler Smith kicked inside to guard. Ending his day and seeing his days as a starter on the Cowboys offensive line numbered.
- DT Carlos Watkins – Watkins only played 14 snaps, with players like Golston, Gallimore and Osa Odighizuwa getting the majority of inside snaps. His lone penalty hurts but with Quinton Bohanna out with an illness, Watkins was slated to get more looks. Instead, the Dallas Cowboys rarely used a traditional nose look other than Gallimore.
- LB Anthony Barr – Another case of not playing, hurting his stock. Leighton Vander Esch is playing much better as a whole this season, Damone Clark is flying all over the field and Jabril Cox is starting to get more and more snaps. Barr, most recently has been a liability against the run and in coverage. Him being out is really exposing how much better off the defense is when Barr doesn’t play as much.
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports