The Dallas Cowboys need all of their star players to do more while Dak Prescott is out of training.
In the fourth quarter Monday night, CeeDee Lamb didn’t do much. The Cowboys’ new No. 1 receiver didn’t make much of an impact. His biggest moment this season was not a good one, losing what would have been a huge first-half catch to the New York Giants. He had been mostly a ghost when the offense desperately needed him to make plays.
When the Cowboys needed him most in the fourth quarter, Lamb came alive. He held on to a 4-yard hold on fourth-and-4 despite taking a hard hit. He escaped 26 yards to the 1 yard line. Then he made a remarkable touchdown, firing off a one-handed Cooper Rush pass and tapping his toes inbounds. It was a highlight take.
Those three games were the biggest difference in a huge 23-16 win for the Cowboys, who are trying to stay in the playoff contention until Prescott returns from thumb surgery. They do a good job.
Dallas is 2-0 with Rush starting, which is better than anyone could have hoped for. Rush did his job again on Monday night. The defense was fantastic. But Lamb was the hero after a rocky start.
Offenses start very slow on ‘MNF’
The game did not have a touchdown until about two hours after kickoff. Saquon Barkley, who looks rejuvenated this season, had a great touchdown run, cutting down the field for 36 yards and the score. That gave the Giants a 13-6 lead with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.
The Cowboys offense, which had been sleeping all night, came to life after Barkley’s touchdown. Dallas had its best drive to this point all night, rushing for 75 yards on nine plays. Ezekiel Elliott scored from 1 yard to level the game.
It took a while, but suddenly there was an intrigue on “Monday Night Football”.
One of the reasons there were so few points was because Lamb dropped a potential touchdown pass into his hands. Rush hit him 40 yards down the field and he had a good shot for a 52-yard touchdown, but he just dropped a perfect pass. There were other moments Monday night when Lamb fell short. During the 11 quarters of the season, he was a little disappointing.
He made up for that and more when he got hot in the fourth quarter and carried the Cowboys into the lead. It’s what the Cowboys wanted to see this season, and it’s exactly what they needed to steal a big game Monday night.
Cowboys stay alive without Dak Prescott
The NFC East probably won’t be very good this season, outside of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants started 2-0 but no one really bought into them after two narrow wins against mediocre teams. Washington commanders are probably still bad.
The Cowboys had a ready-made excuse. Prescott has been out since suffering a thumb injury at the end of a Week 1 loss, although he hopes to return soon. Until he is back, the Cowboys offense will struggle to score. Rush did well as a substitute, but it’s different when Prescott starts.
They compete without Prescott. The defense had a great pass rush and kept the Cowboys in the game. Dallas looked in trouble after Barkley’s touchdown, but he reacted in a big way. The Giants still had their chances. They had 91 yards to go with less than two minutes left after a Cowboys punt. Trevon Diggs beat Daniel Jones with 1:09 to go and victory was assured.
The Cowboys were considering the possibility of a horrible start with Prescott missing several weeks, but they pulled themselves together, the defense was really good and they got big plays when they needed them. It looks like they’ll still be within reach for the Eagles when Prescott returns. It’s impressive.
If Dallas makes the playoffs, Monday night’s victory will be a big reason why. And Lamb should get plenty of credit.