The Dallas Cowboys matched up against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and ended up taking a victory lap with a 33-10 final score. ... an outcome that produced an honest review from Dallas QB Dak Prescott.
“Obviously, we understood the challenge this week,'' Dak said. "If you look on paper, we knew we had a lesser opponent coming in. Had to get going fast and not take them lightly and keep the focus high. We got the job done. ... We'll take the win any way we can get it.''
In other words, even in what turned out to be a blowout, there was some of ... "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.'' To wit. ...
THE GOOD: Dak is right. The Panthers entered Week 11 with only one win on their record, and the Cowboys did not dominate Carolina as smoothly as may fans expected. The Panthers were only down one touchdown in the third quarter, but the Cowboys eventually grasped a larger lead as the matchup entered the fourth quarter.
What Dallas needs to keep at the forefront, however, is their playoff picture alive, and they were able to do that on Sunday by adding another win to their record, now moving to 7-3 on the season.
Yes, the The Prescott/CeeDee Lamb connection cooled a bit. Prescott (25 of 38 for 189 yards and two touchdowns) ended his streak of three consecutive 300-yard games and four straight games with a quarterback rating of over 100. And Lamb saw the end of his streak of three straight games of 10 catches and 150 yards. ... though he had six catches for 38 yards a touchdown against the Panthers.
At the same time, Prescott was not sacked, a good mark for the now-healthy O-line. And with the obvious intent of getting Tony Pollard rolling, Dallas got him a TD as Pollard had his best game of the season with 12 carries for 61 yards. Oh, and splash plays? The 21-yard touchdown run and another 22-yard scoot made everything look "back to normal'' in that department.
The Cowboys have now won seven of their first 10 games in each of the last three seasons under coach Mike McCarthy. Really, at this point, isn't all that ultimately matters?
THE BAD: The costly penalties for the Panthers were so impactful that we suppose Dallas should be so aware of it that the Cowboys don't fall into some false sense of security as they move to 7-3.
In all honesty, Carolina tremendously hurt themselves with the constant flags being thrown their direction. At the conclusion of the game, the Panthers had recorded eight penalties for a total of 90 yards, a season record for penalty yardage.
An 'undisciplined' type of play may most likely be the reason for their lack of wins this year. ... and Dallas avoiding road penalties and any sort of arrogance coming from this one would be a wise combo going forward - and with a quick-turnaround visit from Washington for Thanksgiving on Thursday at AT&T Stadium.
THE UGLY: Micah Parsons' tummy. Following his frustration coming off the field last week in the win over the Giants without any tackles or sacks, edge rusher Parsons silenced the noise thrown in his direction against the Panthers. He was in on three total sacks on Sunday, two of which occurred in Carolina's first two drives of the game. (Micah in the end gets credited for 2.5 sacks, giving him 10 for the year) ... his work being bookended by a couple of episodes with vomiting on the sideline. (An energy drink apparently disagreed with him, see below.)
Combine Micah in the front with DaRon Bland in the back? Playmakers dominated.
Bland recorded a sixth interception on the year when he got a late game-sealing pick-6, his NFL-leading fourth of the year.
“He’s scoring touchdowns,” Prescott said of Bland, joking, “at that point he’s a part of the offense."
All in all, this qualifies as a "good-enough blowout,'' with very little "bad'' or "ugly.''
"To say it was clean and it was exactly what we wanted to do, I can’t say that,'' Dak admitted in summary. "But ... Take care of business on Thanksgiving and then we can enjoy our holidays the right way.”