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Game Recap: Cowboys ground Jets, 30-10


What was originally expected to be a showdown between quarterbacks when the schedule was first released instead saw the narrative largely change with two of the NFL's best defenses getting top billing.

Except in leading the Dallas Cowboys to an impressive 30-10 victory over the New York Jets, Dak Prescott refused to totally surrender the spotlight. The Cowboys' signal-caller completed 81.6 percent of his passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 112.2 passer rating. CeeDee Lamb was his primary target, the receiver tying a personal best with 11 catches for 143 yards.

In an all-around effort, the ground game contributed as well with Tony Pollard posting a career-high 25 carries for 72 yards, the Cowboys earning 134 rushing yards in total.

Of course, the Dallas defense continued its dominance, outdueling the Jets' heralded defensive unit. Micah Parsons again was a game-wrecker, totaling two sacks, four quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, and even a pass defensed. Overall, the Cowboys had four takeaways on the day while allowing the Jets to convert just 1 of 10 third-down attempts. Able to regularly get off the field, Dallas held the time of possession by a remarkable 42:15 to 17:45.

With the Cowboys content to stay conservative in the red zone, they turned to Brandon Aubrey for points, and the rookie kicker obliged by going 5 for 5 on his field goal tries. That marked the most three-pointers Dallas has had in a game since Dan Bailey also booted five on Dec. 15, 2013 against Green Bay.

First Quarter

The Cowboys went to work immediately as they opened the game with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that went the distance. Pollard handled the ball seven times during the series, but it was 25-yard pass to Lamb and a 15-yard scramble by Prescott that did most of the damage. That eventually set up a 4-yard pass to Jake Ferguson, the tight end diving into the end zone for the game's first score.

Second Quarter

Completing his first 13 passes of the game, a new career high, Prescott had the Cowboys driving again as the second frame got underway. Lamb caught a pair of those for a combined 43 yards, the first of which saw center Tyler Biadasz hustle some 30 yards downfield to recover Lamb's fumble. With the series kept alive, Dallas went on to see Aubrey kick a 35-yard field goal to give the home side a 10-point lead.

And then, just like that, it was a ball game. On the Jets' very next snap, quarterback Zach Wilson hit Garrett Wilson in stride on a slant across the middle, the wideout evading a Malik Hooker tackle and then racing 68 yards for the touchdown.

But the Cowboys bounced back with help from their opponent. Three costly Jets penalties – two roughing the passer calls and a pass interference in the end zone – ultimately resulted in eight points for Dallas. A pair of rookies also got into the act with running back Deuce Vaughn providing 28 yards from scrimmage off two receptions and carries each and tight end Luke Schoonmaker then hauling in his first career touchdown catch from the 1-yard line.

With the second of those roughing penalties coming on the scoring play that allowed Pollard to muscled his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion.

Before the half came to a close, though, New York brought it back to a one-score game, booting a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds to pull to within 18-10 at the break.

Third Quarter

The trend continued for Dallas with the defense forcing a three-and-out before the offense then went on another drive of five-plus minutes. This one traveled 55 yards in 12 plays down to the Jets' 3-yard line where the Cowboys eventually called on Aubrey for a chip-shot field goal and now 11-point advantage.

However, three more points were added less than two minutes later after Parsons ripped the ball out of running back Dalvin Cooks' hands and recovered the fumble himself to give the Cowboys possession at the Jets' 37-yard line. And while they were unable to gain much ground, on came Aubrey to easily split the uprights from 55 yards out.

Fourth Quarter

The Cowboys were on the march again as the clocked ticked over into the final quarter, traveling 71 yards on 12 plays before Aubrey was good on a 26-yarder. With that, the game was essentially decided.

And if it wasn't before, it certainly was when Parsons chased Zach Wilson out of the pocket, forcing the quarterback to throw on the run and into the arms of safety Jayron Kearse, who then returned the interception 32 yards to New York's 17-yard line. A Pollard touchdown was negated by a holding call, but the Cowboys let Aubrey provide the final points of the game, this kick from 30 yards.

With the Jets desperately throwing the ball, the game turned into a pick party for Dallas. Hooker and Trevon Diggs recorded their first interceptions of the season to end each of New York's next two possessions, the final highlights in the impressive 30-10 win.

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