ARLINGTON, Texas – Last week, the Cowboys got off to a slow start but managed to rally. This week, it was a fast start and they made sure there was no comeback from the Bengals.
The Cowboys have matched last year's win-total with four victory, improving to 4-1 through five weeks of the season after the 28-14 win.
On Friday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for Sunday's game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
David Helman:I keep picking the outcome of these games correctly – but I couldn't have been more wrong about how the Cowboys would get here. Heading into AT&T Stadium, I was prepared to see just about any type of outcome, but I never dreamed I'd see the Cowboys blow the Bengals out. And don't let the final score fool you – that's exactly what happened. The Cowboys ran at will against what is considered a top-notch NFL defense, and Dak Prescott made some of the most impressive throws of his young career to keep the offense moving. As good as the offense might have been, this Dallas defense absolutely shut down one of the NFL's leading passers, not to mention one of the best wide outs in the league. Andy Dalton was sacked four times, and A.J. Green was an afterthought with a mere 50 yards on the day. This was a lopsided affair in every sense of the word, and it likely would have been worse if not for Prescott's first turnover of the season. I knew the Cowboys could win, considering I picked them on Friday afternoon. But I never thought they'd dominate a team that has made five-straight trips to the playoffs. A win like this should put the league on notice. The Cowboys are pretty darn good.
Nick Eatman: While the Cowboys keep winning, I'll chalk this one up as a bounce-back game for me personally. I took a big swing-and-miss last week, whiffing on just about every "gut feeling" I had in San Francisco. But this was a better week. My 31-19 prediction was close enough. I had Dan Bailey gutting out the injury, although he never had to kick a field goal, but was perfect on four extra points and his kickoffs were solid. How about Benson Mayowa out-playing Lawrence? Both played well, but Mayowa gets a sack, a tackle for loss and two hits on the quarterback. And more than anything, this team just overwhelmed the Bengals, who now drop to 2-3. The Cowboys are just clicking on all cylinders right now and it's fun to see. Winning without Dez and Romo is something none of us really expected. But it's certainly not a fluke.
Rob Phillips: Well, I expected a close Cowboys victory – not a shutout deep into the second half and a comfortable two-touchdown margin at home. This team continues to get outstanding play from its two rookies on offense. Dak Prescott broke the rookie record for most pass attempts without an interception, and the Ezekiel Elliott set the tone with 42 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive. Thought the matchup between the Cowboys' offensive line and the Bengals' defensive line would be a push, but the offense controlled the line of scrimmage most of the game. The defense is collectively getting stops, too. The Cowboys are 4-1 because a large number of players are stepping up. They just beat a quality franchise that has been to the playoffs five straight years. Impressive.
Bryan Broaddus: Outstanding team win against the Bengals. Had my concerns earlier in the week with the condition of the offensive line but as we drew closer to game time, things appeared to stabilize and the unit was ready to go. Give a great deal of credit to that line and the way in which they handled this Bengals front seven. This front is not easy to block because of how active they are. The line was able to consistently get hats on hats the entire day and that made a big difference. My gut feeling was that the running game would average 4.5 a carry but they were able to exceed that with 6.2 per attempt.
For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted on Friday, click here.