On a mostly ugly night dominated by Dallas' defense, backup quarterback Cooper Rush again produced in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys beat the New York Giants, 23-16.
10. MONDAY NIGHT MUCK - The NFL announced Rihanna as the halftime entertainment for Super Bowl LVII in February. Here's hoping the Cowboys and Giants have Spotify to hear her music because, let's face it, at this point there's no chance either will make it to Arizona in five months. Yuck. The hideous first half featured two missed field goals, eight penalties, nine points and countless palm-to-the-forehead bad football plays. Even the officials stunk, blowing points-costing calls on both teams. Cowboys' receiver Noah Brown was literally tackled in the end zone with no call, negating what should have been 1st-and-Goal from the 1-yard line and instead forcing a short field goal. And a horrendous offensive pass interference call on New York's Sterling Shepard - who was simply running a route and accidentally collided with Trevon Diggs - cost the Giants a first down inside Dallas' 40 near the end of the first half. NASA sent a school bus-sized spacecraft to intentionally slam into an asteroid to determine if it can help deflect objects posing a threat to Earth. We could've watched that and been way more entertained.
9. ZANY ZOOKEEPER - Owner Jerry Jones sat down for an interview with ESPN's Monday Night Countdown that was, well, trademark Jerry. Asked what he'll do to help his team lift another Lombardi Trophy, he morphed into a passionate ... zoologist. Said Jones in his office at The Star in Frisco: "In Dallas we don't have many wild varmints. I'm sure we've got a lot of bobcats. I don't know if we have any mountain lions. But if you hear an eerie sound going across Dallas, that's me with my head in the pillow screaming at night. Pining away, wanting to get in to position to get a Super Bowl. I do want it. I'm tremendously disappointed that it's been as long as it's been since we've even sniffed at one. Every day, every decision, everything we're doing - all of this - in my way it's a way to get us to a Super Bowl."
8. DALLAS DETOUR - Remember how bleak things felt after Week 1? The Cowboys didn't score a touchdown against Tampa Bay. Dak Prescott was injured. And ... don't look but they have the same 2-1 record as Super Bowl favorites such as the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Buccaneers.
7. JIMMY JOHNZZZZZON - You get Jimmy Johnson in prime time during a Cowboys game with Peyton and Eli Manning and you just know you you're gonna get gold. A jab at Jerry. Ring-of-Honor controversy. Something! But, shockingly, Johnson on the Manningcast was a total snoozefest. Praise for Micah Parsons and a re-tread re-visit of "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?!", but nothing even worth taking the time to quote. Believe it or not, Jimmy was more boring than the first half.
6. NO WORRIES - No Prescott. No Tyron Smith. No Dalton Schultz. No Michael Gallup. No James Washington. No ... problem. With a little boost from a key 28-yard punt return from KaVontae Turpin that provided late breathing room, the Cowboys' offense somehow produced 23 precious points. Dallas is now 10-1 in its last 11 against the Giants.
5. DIGGIN' OUT OF A HOLE - Last season after three games Diggs already had three interceptions on his way to a league-leading 11 (most by an NFL player since 1981). This year after most of three games he had zero, until clinching the win with a pick of Giants' quarterback Daniel Jones with 1:09 remaining.
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4. DOMINANT DEFENSE - We're not ready to dust off the "Doomsday" moniker, but ... In their first 12 quarters against Tom Brady, Joe Burrow and on MNF in New York, the Cowboys' defense has allowed only three touchdowns. Even more impressive it still hasn't allowed a first-half touchdown; only eight field goals. The Cowboys produced five sacks of Jones, raising their league-leading total to 13. That total would have been more had DeMarcus Lawrence not briefly left the game in the third quarter with a foot injury. Dallas' defensive end was embarrassing Giants' first-round rookie Evan Neal to the tune of a career-high-tying three sacks.
3. COOPER CONTROVERSY? - Don't be silly, the Cowboys don't have a quarterback controversy. But also don't be fooled, they do have a legitimate No. 2 quarterback. Rush's vitals as an NFL starter: 64 of 102 (63 percent) for 775 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Oh, and a sparkling record of 3-0. Most impressive, he's led a game-winning scoring drive in the fourth quarter of tie games in all three victories. It's not exactly Roger Staubach winning his first 10 starts in the early 1970s, but Rush has been clutch when it counts. Said Rush afterward, "I just want to keep winning."
2. DAK ALMOST BACK? - Before the game Prescott had the one stitch removed from his surgically repaired right hand. With his thumb taped, he even threw a couple of passes on the field. Asked by ESPN's Lisa Salters about his timetable for a return, Prescott said - according to the reporter - "A couple of weeks, and I'm counting this as one of them." So maybe he'll play Sunday against the Washington Commanders? "I'm not ruling anything out."
1. LAMB LIVES - On the verge of being kicked out of the Cowboys' legendary "Club 88" for two inexplicable first-half drops, receiver CeeDee Lamb arrived just in time to change this game. On one forgettable early drive, Lamb flatly dropped a perfect pass from Rush in stride at the Giants' 20. In the same series he bobbled and couldn't hold a low pass that would've at least allowed a field-goal attempt. But with the scored tied at 13-13 in the fourth quarter, Lamb took over. He caught a pass in traffic for a gutsy first-down catch on 4th-and-4 from New York's 41, then hauled in a 26-yard catch-and-run to the 1. From there, the receiver who earlier dropped a would-be touchdown with two free hands made a highlight-reel, one-hand, left-hand catch in the corner of the end zone for a 20-13 lead. Redemption, complete. "CeeDee's our No. 1 receiver," said coach Mike McCarthy. "That's not gonna change if he drops one early because we know he'll make big plays for us."
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