DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys look like a Super Bowl contender again. They beat Washington Football Team 56-14 Sunday night.
The Cowboys had been winning football games, clinching playoff berths and division titles, all that good stuff. But your eyes told you, they just weren't quite right. At least not offensively.
After this first half of football, you've got pretty good reason to shelve those concerns.
The Cowboys offense finally clicked again. Dak Prescott completed 21 of his first 23 passes, for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Demarcus Lawrence authored one of the more impressive pick-6's you could witness, and Ezekiel Elliott found the endzone twice in the first 20 minutes of the football game, as Dallas has raced out to a 42-7 halftime lead.
Overall, Prescott completed 27 of 35 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns in the first half.
The Cowboys opening drive wasn't particularly inspired, as they punted after a six-play possession that gained just seven total yards. After that, it was all Dallas.
Trevon Diggs recorded his 11th interception of the season on Washington's very first offensive play. And the Cowboys offense decided they'd had enough of turning turnovers into field goals. A 9-play, 71-yard touchdown drive ensued, as Dallas capped it off with a play-action pass from Prescott to Elliott, to lead 7-0.
Washington would gain just 20 yards on their next possession, punting after just 5 plays and 1:34 of possession time. And the Cowboys would author another effective drive, going 74 yards in 8 plays, and finishing with another play-action pass, this time from Prescott to Dalton Schultz. Dallas led 14-0.
Just 51 seconds later, the Cowboys were on the board again. Demarcus Lawrence leapt, tipped the ball to himself, and intercepted Washington quarterback Taylor Heinecke. Lawrence then galloped down the left sideline, hopping over would-be Washington tacklers, staying in bounds by a whisker, and racing fleet-footed into the endzone, for a 21-0 Dallas lead, and the rout was on.
Washington found the board with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Heinecke to Antonio Gibson. But the Cowboys answered right back driving 75 yards in 8 plays, and capping the drive with a punishing 11-yard Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run, led by a pulling La'el Collins who raced in front of Elliott to create just enough room for the Cowboys lead back to lunge across the goal line for a 28-7 Dallas lead.
And if that wasn't enough, Dallas forced a Washington punt, took it back at their own 20, and put together another 9-play drive over a 3:58 span, finishing with the coup de grace of their first half quintet of touchdowns -- a tackle-eligible touchdown pass to Terence Steele from the one yard line.
Finally, the Cowboys pieced together a two-minute drive over the final 1:42, driving 89 yards in 12 plays, culminating in Prescott's touchdown pass to Amari Cooper.
It was 42-7 Cowboys at the break.
A Dallas is back to being themselves again.
In recent weeks, Cowboys fans were left to argue about whether the offense would be okay, if the defense could carry them etc.
By the fourth quarter all that was left to argue was when was the right time to take Dak Prescott and other key players off the field in a blowout.
Cooper Rush went in for Prescott in the final moments.
The Cowboys accomplished multiple things during the game that forced Cowboys PR to use the phrase “the furthest the stat could be researched at this time”.
So many historic stats, so little time. For example, Prescott: