ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys welcomed in the Seattle Seahawks for a Thursday night bout and delivered all of the offensive entertainment from start-to-finish.
The Seahawks blossomed out of an offensive funk (20 straight drives without a touchdown) and had a feast against the Dallas defense in one of the poorer showings that Dan Quinn's unit has had all season.
However, Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb combined for yet another monster performance while Jake Ferguson, Brandin Cooks and Tony Pollard all helped pitch in on a 41-point performance against one of the league's more physical defenses.
There was a lot to take away from the Cowboys' Thursday night win. Let's dive into it in this week's edition of 5 Takes, presented by Take 5 Oil Change.
- *Dak Prescott is playing the best football of his career. *I almost said it last week, but I think it's safe to say now. After notching his first career NFC Offensive Player of the Month award earlier on Thursday, he turned in a huge performance that had Dallas' offense humming from start-to-finish. There were concerns coming in about Seattle's heavy zone scheme being able to cause issues for Prescott, but after posting 299 yards and 3 touchdowns with just zero interceptions, those concerns got quieted in a big way. His mobility continues to shine both in scrambling out of the pocket and extending plays, and it's allowed him to put together the best stretch of games in his career.
- *CeeDee Lamb is playing the best football of his career. *Yeah, I doubled it up. CeeDee Lamb is playing at an absolute All-Pro level this season, and just when it shows signs of letting up, he turns in another huge performance. Despite one of the more physical secondaries in the NFL, if not the most, on the other side on Thursday night, Lamb answered with brute physicality in his own right to turn in one of the best performances of the year – and that's saying something. If Lamb can continue to be the reliable weapon that we've seen throughout the rest of the season, this offense won't find many suitors to defend.
- *This defense has struggled when man coverage doesn't work. *The Dallas defense runs more man coverage than any team in the league, and when it faces a receiving corps like the one Seattle threw on the table on Thursday night, things can get out of hand. The athleticism, ball skills, physicality and speed all combine to make a group that features a bunch of man-beaters, and that's exactly what they did on Thursday. The bigger problem was presented when Dallas remained in man coverage before relying on a heavy zone that made things look uncomfortable late. When forced to go zone heavy, I'm not confident that the Dallas defense can adjust.
- *Taking the ball to open the game has done way more harm than good. *Mike McCarthy has continued to put confidence into his offense as the season has gone on, and it's been for great reason. With the way the offensive side of the ball performed in November, why not? But when the Cowboys won the coin toss on Thursday, they elected to once again take the ball despite scoring touchdowns on only two opening drives all season and it once again resulted in only three points from Brandon Aubrey. On the back end, it allowed Seattle to get the elusive double-double out of the halftime break: scoring a touchdown at the end of the first half and pairing it with another touchdown to open the second half.
- *This game will pay dividends down the stretch. *In the games of comparison, you could look at a 41-35 win over the Seahawks and see that the same team lost 31-13 at home to the 49ers a week ago, but this team came to play tonight. It was a playoff-type atmosphere against a team that was fighting for a much-needed win after a poor stretch. A late game situation like this one paired with a high-scoring seesaw affair is something that the Cowboys haven't seen so far this season, and Thursday night's win will help when that situation almost certainly arrives in January.