The Dallas Cowboys are now 1-1 to start the 2022 season. After a bad start to the year against Tampa Bay, they reacted with a quality performance against the defending AFC champions.

While the offense played effective, the defense showed dominance. Micah Parsons had a predictably great game, and WR CeeDee Lamb had a much better outing after his miserable start to the season.

However, there are a few blemishes. Not nearly as many as week one, but enough worth noting.

Even as the Dallas Cowboys get players like Michael Gallup and QB Dak Prescott back in the coming weeks, the players that are on the field are stepping up. Some even beyond previously comprehended to do so.

Once again, we won’t include any obvious names of players who are expected to do play at a high level like Parsons or Zack Martin. We also won’t include players like TE Dalton Schultz, who had an overall bad game, but sprained his PCL and won’t be able to make up his performance next week.

Stock Up

  • QB Cooper Rush – Maybe it’s time we acknowledge Rush as one of the game’s best backup QBs. His 19/31 for 235 yards and a touchdown was enough to outplay Joe Burrow and make Rush 2-0 as a starter for his career.
  • Edge Dante Fowler – The depth the Cowboys have at the edge is impressive. Fowler getting in on the action, all across the defensive line, makes him another key piece on Dan Quinn’s defense. He applied pressure constantly, even bringing Burrow to the ground as a part of the team’s six sacks.

  • WR Noah Brown – If I told you at the start of the season that Brown would lead the Dallas Cowboys in receiving, I’d sound crazy. Not only does he, but set a career high with 91 yards receiving and a touchdown. More than Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins or CeeDee Lamb.
  • Edge Dorance Armstrong – In the same breath as Fowler, Armstrong had an impressive performance. He and teammate Micah Parsons each registered two sacks each, with Armstrong having a much better outing than his season premiere.

  • DB Donovan Wilson – With the absence of Kearse, Wilson played all over the field. Leading the Cowboys in tackles, even brining the ball carrier down in the backfield, as a follow up to his impressive first game of the season.
  • LB Leighton Vander Esch – Vander Esch, when playing in his area, is having a good season. He’s displaying the same quality tackling we saw from his rookie year and even got in on the action as a pass rusher.
  • The Offensive Line – Considering they’re starting a rookie at left tackle and their backup center at left guard, this unit played well on Sunday. Only allowing one sack and displaying growth as a core. How they continue to progress will dictate how the season finishes.

Stock Down

  • WR Dennis Houston – Houston only has two catches to his name but his tenure as a part of the Cowboys is up in the air. He has gotten the snaps the team hoped would go to Jalen Tolbert and eventually Michael Gallup. If he clears waivers and reverts to the practice squad, he could get his second chance after not capitalizing the first time.
  • RB Ezekiel Elliott – After a solid game one, the Dallas Cowboys decided to up Elliott’s load. He ran for under four yards per carry, with a long of 11 yards, including one catch for -4 yards. In fact, taking away his one long run, he only averaged 3.0 yards per carry.
  • OL Jason Peters – Peters has done nothing inherently wrong. However, the rate the offensive line is progressing may force Peters to be more of a depth piece than a plug-and-play starter. Regardless of what position he plays.

Mandatory credit: Kareem Elgazzar/ The Enquirer/ USA TODAY NETWORK