Flashback to October 11th, 2020, week five of the NFL season. Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys took on the New York Giants. Late in the third quarter, Prescott ran for nine yards before being tackled by Logan Ryan. The ankle injury that occurred from the tackle would end Prescotts season and lead to a long road of a comeback.
Almost a year to the day, Prescott is back and healthy as ever. By a happy scheduling coincidence, Dallas took on the Giants in week five just like last year. Dallas won on a last-second field goal in week five last season but this time around, it was much different. Let’s grade the Cowboy’s week five performance.
Offense Grade: A-
Early on the offense had two turnovers via an interception on a tipped pass and later on a fumbled snap. However, the offense still managed to produce points. Prescott led the Cowboys to three scoring drives on four possessions to close out the first half. Dallas only put up 17 points in the first half but by the end of the game, they finished with 44 points in a 44-20 victory.
Kellen Moore and the offense lit up the stat book once again finishing with 515 yards of total offense. Prescott finished with 302 passing yards and three touchdowns and remained efficient on his completion percentage. The run game has been a bright spark for the Cowboy’s offense this year as well. Zeke and Pollard combined for 185 yards on the ground and tore up the Giants defense. It was a perfect performance from the Dallas offense in week five but a 24-point margin of victory will do just fine.
Defense Grade: A-
The defense has been the biggest surprise from the Dallas Cowboys this year. The 2020 Cowboys defense was one of the worst in the NFL not to mention in franchise history. The turnaround from 2020 to 2021 has been quite a spectacle through the first five weeks. In week five, the defense had their moments of “what the heck are you doing” but overall it was still a solid performance.
Dan Quinn has this defense on another level right now as they forced two turnovers for the fifth straight game this season. The Dallas defense has forced two or more turnovers in nine straight games dating back to last year which is the longest streak in the NFL since 2010. Trevon Diggs has six interceptions in only five games knabbing his sixth pick halfway through the third quarter. Finally Anthony Brown got his second interception of the year that ended up being a pick-six that put the nail in the coffin against the Giants. The Dallas defense showed up when it mattered and that result led to another win for the Cowboys.
Final Grade Overall: A
Again, plenty of “what the heck is going on” moments on both sides of the ball in week five. However, Dallas managed to put together enough scoring drives and defensive stops that a 44-20 win looks great. Sure, the Giants were depleted by quite a few players but a win is a win. I have full confidence that Dallas would perform the same way and end with the same result against anyone on the Giants. Take this win against the 1-3 Giants with a grain of salt if you want but another division win is big at this early stage of the season.
If Dallas can continue to string together defensive stops and force turnovers, the offense’s life is going to be much easier. Give Dan Quinn a lot of credit for the morale boost to the entire team considering how bad the defense was last year. Dallas has improved in many areas in 2021 and a week five win is the best result they could hope for.
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