Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the Dallas Cowboys defense dominates in a win over the Washington Commanders.
Washington could only muster up one touchdown in Dallas’ 25-10 victory at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys move to 3-1 on the year, retaining sole possession of second-place in the NFC East. Dallas trails only the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Here’s what Dallas did well to get the win over the Commanders:
The offense held its own
In Dallas’ Week 2 and 3 wins, the defense had to step up to keep the team in the game. But this was the most balanced performance we’ve seen from the Cowboys this season.
Cooper Rush threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Rush’s top targets were CeeDee Lamb (97 receiving yards and a touchdown) and Noah Brown (61 receiving yards).
Michael Gallup made his much anticipated return in Week 4. Despite being on a limited snap count, Gallup still managed to come down with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown.
One critique for the offense is its inconsistency at ending drives with touchdowns. While it was nice to see Brett Maher go 4/4 on field goal tries, Rush and Co. shown a tendency to slow down once they neared the red zone.
Rush has been excellent at avoiding turnovers
A backup QB’s main duty (outside of winning games) is to keep the ball out of harm’s way to avoid costly turnovers. That is something Rush has excelled at in all three of the Cowboys’ victories.
In 102 passing attempts this season, Rush has yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble. While there were points during the win over the Commanders where the offense was flat, Rush has done a good job of avoiding turnovers.
As a whole, Dallas has protected the football very well this season. The offense has only turned the ball over twice through four games.
Oh, and Rush is the first QB in franchise history to win his first four starts. Take that Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys have a premier defense
Week in and week out, Dallas’ defense has proven to be as consistent as death and taxes.
The defensive line didn’t apply as much pressure to Commanders QB Carson Wentz compared to the performances we saw in the first three games. Wentz was only sacked twice.
But the defensive backs picked up the slack.
Wentz threw for a season-low 170 yards. Washington’s top receivers Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel combined for just 96 yards.
DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs each tallied interceptions in the win.
Diggs has also shown major improvement in his pass coverage abilities. Late in the game, the Commanders were in the red zone and on fourth down, Diggs came up big on a pass break up in the end zone.
Then, as Washington was trying to put together a drive to stay in the game, Diggs broke up another pass on fourth down to seal the win for the Cowboys.