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5 Takes

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5 Takes: Brandin Cooks is delivering when needed


ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys welcomed in the Detroit Lions to AT&T Stadium and took down the NFC contenders, 20-19, in front of the home crowd to solidify an undefeated home slate in the regular season.

After allowing a game-winning score against Miami a week ago, the Dallas defense holds tough on a late Detroit two-point conversion attempt to escape the home stadium with the 11th win of the season.

There was a lot to take away from the week 17 win on Jimmy Johnson night. Here are the 5 Takes, presented by Take 5 Oil Change.

  1. This win gives Dallas the confidence needed in January.After back-to-back losses on the road, returning home and taking down an NFC contender serves as a big confidence booster for a team needing a big win to right the ship before the arrival of its third straight playoff appearance. Not only does the win secure an undefeated record at home for the regular season, it will give the Cowboys the confidence needed when they arrive in a playoff environment in a win-or-go-home situation next month. Needless to say, the fashion in which the win was secured will be a big confidence point as well.
  1. CeeDee Lamb is having the best season for a receiver in franchise history.After breaking Michael Irvin's franchise records for receptions and receiving yards in a season on Saturday night, it's safe to say that CeeDee Lamb is having the best season for a receiver in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. Saturday night's record-setting performance could make the argument as the best game of his career as well as a career-high 13 receptions for 227 yards helped power an offense that needed multiple sparks from its biggest playmaker.
  1. Tony Pollard's inefficiency kept the offense from taking off once again.A second down drop in the third quarter that would have resulted in a big gain is a microcosm of the night for Tony Pollard, as without Rico Dowdle helping compliment him in the running game, Pollard never found a stride and mustered together 49 yards on 16 carries (3.1 yards per carry). His first season as the lead back has not lived up to expectations with just one game left in the regular season, as a big playoff performance could be the only confidence point from 2023 that could be pointed at in an offseason that will see him become a free agent.
  1. It was Lamb's night, but Brandin Cooks delivered when needed.Early in the season, Brandin Cooks struggled to find much production after an offseason that saw him get brought in with the expectation of being a solidified second option for Dak Prescott. However, following the bye week, Cooks turned it up and Prescott worked to get him more involved. Since then, Cooks has been a big part of multiple wins and has now hauled in huge touchdown grabs in the second half of back-to-back games. His score on Saturday night came at the end of a drive that he extended with an over-the-shoulder grab with a defender draped on his back to move the chains on a third down. Oh, and it helped give Dallas the lead for good.
  1. DeMarcus Lawrence continues to prove that he is the best run defender on the team.After allowing 266 yards on the ground against Buffalo two weeks ago, the Dallas defense has settled in and limited two of the best rushing attacks in the NFL against Miami and Detroit, and a big contributor is DeMarcus Lawrence. Dallas' defensive line veteran has been sealing the edge, not allowing backfield weapons to break contain, and accounted for a handful of tackles for loss in the run game on Saturday. His continued play in the run game has been a big contributor to Dallas' defense finding a stride the last two weeks.

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