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Eatman: The Most Dominating Win in Four Years 


FRISCO, Texas – Maybe it was because MMA star Conor McGregor was in the house and fired up some of the players before the game.

Maybe it was because the Cowboys just got tired of hearing all the noise this week that stems from an overtime loss.

Or maybe the NFL is just a weird league that we'll never totally figure out.

Perhaps it was all three and more.

But there was a reason the Cowboys absolutely dominated Jacksonville from the very start to the very end in an ass-kicking that we just haven't really seen in about four years.

Personally, I think the 42-7 win over the Colts back in 2014 to win the NFC East was about as convincing a win that I remember in recent history. Yeah, they've beaten up on Cleveland and San Francisco and some other teams, but if you're talking about going out there and whipping up on what is considered to be a really good team, then this one might be as good as it gets.

The Jaguars had the No. 1 defense in the NFL coming into this one. And the Cowboys were simply better, at least on this day.

You can see some speed and size and playmakers flying around the ball. Let's not sit here like we're at Cameron Indoor and start calling them "overrated." I don't really know if the Jaguars' defense is overrated or not, but I do know they couldn't stop the Cowboys.

Maybe that speaks volumes for what we know – or don't know – about this up-and-down Cowboys' squad that is now 3-3.

Hey, I've said all along that Dak Prescott needed to play better. He did.

I've said that Scott Linehan needed to improve his play-calling or the Cowboys should at least consider letting Jason Garrett call the plays.

The play-calls were much better on this day.

I said this week that Cole Beasley needed to get open more and make plays – he did.

This certainly isn't a "I-told-you-so" piece because other than picking the Cowboys to win a close one, I didn't see this one coming at all.

All I'm saying is that when we talk about the Cowboys proving a lot of people wrong on this day, well, I'm right there with everyone else.

It's not that I didn't think the Cowboys could win. I just didn't think they had the offensive firepower to continue to score enough points to win. And I certainly didn't think this defense would become absolutely dominant.

But that's what it was. This was a really good offense, coupled with an amazing defense, coupled with a solid special teams. When you get that, you're going to win convincingly, as the Cowboys did.

I throw in the special teams because that was a difference for the Jaguars, who had a costly too-many-men-on-the-field penalty, another holding call on a punt and a failed trick play on a punt return that didn't work.

The Jaguars tried to run the ball and couldn't. They tried to throw and really couldn't, aside from one drive.

While the defense was aggressive and gave the Cowboys problems at times, the Jaguars were the ones on their heels most of the night.

How does this happen?

Well, you could sit here and pinpoint one thing, but it would be a waste of time.

Like Garrett or not – and this week it seemed like it was way more of the latter – but his cliché answer on Sunday that this really was a "team win" was very accurate.

It was the offensive line. It was Dak. It was Zeke. It was the receivers, especially Beasley. It was even the tight ends at times and, yes, it was the play-calling.

When everyone is doing their job right, it can lead to a butt-whipping.

On defense, it was the pressure. It was the tackling. It was the coverage. It was the rotation. Again, when it's all clicking like that, then you hold a team to seven points.

I feel like the Commissioner of an Under-8 soccer league, but yes, on this day, everyone gets a trophy.

Every one of the Cowboys' units seemed to be better than its counterpart on the other side.

But in this world where everything has to have a true meaning, I really don't have a good answer for you. It doesn't mean the Cowboys are now the favorites to win their division. It doesn't mean they're even going to win next week in Washington, especially since the road hasn't been friendly.

But what it means is this: The Cowboys have the ability to bounce back when they've been tested. And they have the ability to kick a team's ass, even if that team is supposed to be one of the best in the league.

Who knows what it means, but after last week, it sure was fun to watch.