The Dallas Cowboys were firing on every last cylinder in a 40-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11.
All three phases were working in unison Sunday afternoon. The offense totaled 458 yards, the defense only allowed 158 yards and Brett Maher hit all four of his field goal tries.
After a disappointing Week 10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Micah Parsons called for his teammates to hold themselves accountable. They clearly took it to heart.
Here are the highlights from the huge win:
The offense stays hot
The Cowboys offense has scored 30+ points in its last three games. They didn’t reach that total once in the first seven games of the season.
Dallas scored either a touchdown or field goal on its first seven drives. The last time the Cowboys did that was 1978, the same season the NFL expanded to 16 teams.
Dak Prescott completed 88% of his passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. That’s the second-highest completion percentage of Prescott’s career behind an 88.9% performance in 2016. Dak’s 11 yards per completion was also the third-highest in his career
Tony Pollard led all pass-catchers with 109 receiving yards and two touchdowns and led all rushers with 80 yards on the ground. Ezekiel Elliott found the endzone twice after sitting the last two games with a knee injury.
P Bryan Anger was dealing with a sickness but only had two punt twice as the Cowboys scored on 8/10 possessions.
On top of all the scoring, Big D had no turnovers. It was nearly a flawless performance from the offense.
The defense looked like its old self
Dallas has looked less than stellar the last two games, allowing an average of 30 points. But they looked like the unit we saw in the early stages of the season.
It all started with stopping the rush as the Vikings only ran for 73 yards. With Minnesota constantly behind the chains and in obvious passing situations, the defensive line pinned its ears back and applied tons of pressure to Kirk Cousins.
Cousins was sacked seven times, the most in a single game in his 11-year career. The last time the Cowboys had that many sacks was in 2008.
Parsons got to Cousins twice, snapping a two-game skid without a sack. Micah set the tone early with a strip sack on the third play of the game. Dorance Armstrong, who also had two sacks, jumped on the loose ball, setting up the offense at Minnesota’s 27-yard line.
The defensive backs also deserve credit for strong performances. Cousins completed only 52% of his passes for 105 yards. Justin Jefferson, who has the second-most receiving yards in the NFL, was limited to just three catches for 33 yards.
Giving Brett Maher his flowers
Nobody had high hopes for Maher this season, but he’s proven all of us wrong. Maher went 4/4 on XPs and 4/4 on FGs, including makes from 50, 53 and 60 yards. According to ESPN, Maher had 27 fantasy points which is the most by a kicker in 10 seasons.
On Maher’s 60-yarder, his first try was blown dead by the refs for a replay review. He nailed that one, was iced while waiting for the replay review to conclude, and then trotted back out and hit it again.
Maher is having a career year. He’s hit 96.7% of his XPs and 90.5% of his FGs. Not too shabby for a guy who had to compete for his roster spot in the preseason.