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Tank on Dallas' home streak: 'We protect our house'


FRISCO, TX — It was yet another demolition derby for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8, welcoming the Los Angeles Rams to a visit that quickly devolved into a horror movie for both Matthew Stafford's offense and their defensive counterparts; and it put on full display just how dominant the Cowboys continue to be at home.

They've outscored opponents 111-33 at AT&T Stadium this season.

That's enough to make Dorothy and Toto both blush.

Stafford was under siege for much of the contest and neither Puka Nacua, Cooper Kupp nor Tutu Atwell could get any separation against DaRon Bland, Jourdan Lewis and Stephon Gilmore — making for a disastrous recipe that included Bland's third pick-six of the season and a separation rate of less than 2.9 yards per rep for each of McVay's wideouts.

"It feels great, it feels great," said veteran safety Jayron Kearse of a contest that was all but over before the middle of the second quarter arrived. "I talked to [DeMarcus Lawrence] and I talked to Micah [Parsons] right before the game, and we said, 'Let's come out here and let's get this game over quick[ly], because we know what we got ahead of us next week.' 

"We came out and did that. Got it done early and were able to sit down and relax a little bit at the end."

When Kearse says the Cowboys' defense relaxed, he meant when the starters were being pulled and not a moment before, because they mostly remained relentless throughout the entire contest, save for the one and only efficient touchdown drive by Stafford that made it a 33-17 score in the third quarter.

In all, Nacua and Kupp combined for only 64 yards receiving with no touchdowns, Atwell had only 21 receiving yards (no touchdowns) and the leading receiver was actually a running back: Darrell Henderson, Jr. with 54 yards in the air.

On the ground, Henderson had only 31 yards on 12 carries (2.6 yards per handoff) while Reece Freeman mustered just 44 yards to go along with a touchdown. 

"Yeah man, you know, just coming off a bye, we've got a healthy team," said Lawrence. "Everybody came out ready to run. It was an early game, but our tempo was there. Hat's off to the Cowboys today."

It was the most complete game of the season for Dallas, one that saw them score in all three phases of the game, including a safety on a blocked punt by Sam Williams and Brandon Aubrey tying the all-time NFL record for most consecutive kicks made to start a career. 

The defense was lights out.

The special teams unit played out of its mind.

And, lo and behold, the offense finally exploded like a stick of dynamite in a shaken box.

"It was huge," said Kearse. "It's definitely huge anytime that we can get out there and play good complimentary football. You see the type of things that can happen when you get out there and do that. Everybody was on one accord and those are the results of it."

Now, owners of a 5-2 record heading into an all-important game against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road, the Cowboys can continue to feel confident in their ability to protect home field — having extended their win streak at home to 11 games, stretching back to Week 2 of the 2022 season. 

It's a home-field advantage that, currently, is the best in the entire league. 

"We take major pride in it," Lawrence said. "It's really about if you can control home field, you're guaranteeing yourself a spot in the playoffs. So we just want to make sure [that] anybody that comes in here already knows our mission. 

"We're going to protect our house."

There's simply no place like home.

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