Okay, I am going to be completely honest here. Sunday hurt. Every time Philadelphia’s quarterback Nick Foles completed a magical pass, felt horrible for cheering and felt even worse for booing his pair of interceptions, but it was just how it had to be. With Bears kicker Cody Parkey double-doinking the last second field goal off the upright (and crossbar), Dallas now finds themselves headed to Los Angeles where they will play the not-Saints on Saturday. Oh whoops, I mean the Rams, but that is probably a better matchup for the Cowboys. But none of that would none of that would have been possible if it were not for the pounding the Cowboys put on the Seahawks. Without further ado, let us recap Dallas’ playoff win over Seattle.
Ezekiel Elliott was amazing. Shut up, I know that you knew I was going to say that. Doesn’t make it any less true. For most of the game, it was a low scoring affair. This made Elliott even more of a factor. He showed, as he has done time after time, that he is the Cowboys’ franchise running back. His power has never been in question, nor his blazing speed, but Elliott showed us that he truly is as graceful as a gazelle, with a stunningly elegant stiff arm that threw Shaqueem Griffin down with beauty and style.
🚨 STIFF ARM ALERT! 🚨 @ezekielelliott
— NFL (@NFL) January 6, 2019
Fine, fine. A stiff arm is not usually deemed graceful, but it was just so beautiful. More seriously though, Elliott really did show some fancy footwork at several key points, including down on the goal line to punch it in for six points. Dodging defenders and lashing linebackers is what Elliott does best, but he doesn’t do it alone. Here to help are the unsung heroes of the game, right guard Zack Martin and right tackle La’el Collins, opposite left guard Connor Williams and left tackle Tyron Smith.
It’s no secret that the Cowboys have struggled at the line most of the year, but yesterday, the offensive line won the game. Providing holes on the outside is one thing. But being able to block All-Pro inside linebacker Bobby Wagner shows a level of strength and determination on the offensive line that Cowboys’ fans have not seen all year. Not to mention that key blocks from Williams and Martin created space that allowed quarterback Dak Prescott to convert with his legs on a couple of important downs.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 6, 2019
The Cowboys’ offensive line has been able to block on running plays, but these giants actually held up very well in their pass-blocking. The offensive linemen had great second-level blocks on linebackers and safeties which is a clear sign of their physical and mental progression. Prescott also managed to protect the ball well, giving up just one interception which should have been called back for defensive pass interference.
Once again, the defense played extraordinarily. Holding Seattle running back Chris Carson to only 20 yards on 13 carries is no small feat, and I certainly don’t want to take away from the defensive line’s incredible performance. The defensive line ate up blocks which really allowed linebackers, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, to play to their full potential. Smith and Vander Esch combined for 17 tackles, per Pro Football Focus. Cowboys’ fans should expect nothing less from this duo of stars.
Next week is another challenge for the Dallas Cowboys, as they are gearing up to play the number two-seeded Los Angeles Rams on their turf. Stay tuned for that one, it’s going to be a thriller. Though it will be a tough game, at least the Cowboys avoided the Saints—for now…