On a wild west shootout of a night at AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys won a football game without forcing their opponent to punt. And the Seattle Seahawks lost one when scoring 35+ points for the first time in 37 games under coach Pete Carroll.
10. THE DEFENSE RESTS – On a night when Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense tied an NFL record by topping 40 points for the fourth consecutive home game, it was a beleaguered defense that them to hang on with three fourth-down stops in the fourth quarter.
First it was DeMarcus Lawrence with a tackle in the backfield with Dallas trailing, 35-30. Then blitz pressure forced Seahawks’ quarterback Geno Smith to throw a wild incompletion off his back foot with Dallas up 38-35. And finally – inexplicably – it was an unblocked Micah Parsons harassing Smith into a harmless incompletion on 4th-and-2 at midfield.
Dan Quinn’s unit allowed 406 yards and didn’t force a Seahawks punt, but when the Cowboys needed a stop the defense came up with three in a row.
9. PERPLEXING PRIME – Still trying to figure out why Deion Sanders is treated like royalty by America in general and the Cowboys in specific.
No doubt he’s one of the greatest athletes to ever step on a playing field. But he helped the Cowboys to only one Super Bowl (one in which, in fact, cornerback Larry Brown was the MVP). He sidetracked the lives of DFW students and teachers at his failed Prime Prep Academy. And this season after arrogantly demanding adulation from the college football world, his Colorado Buffaloes lost eight of their last nine games to not even qualify for a bowl game.
But there he was Thursday night, posing for a photo with Jerry Jones, sitting in a suite with son, Shedeur, basking in the glow of being named Sports Illustrated‘s “Sportsperson of the Year” and prepping for his upcoming Prime Video docuseries, Coach Prime.
8. DARON BLANDED, TEMPORARILY – Good thing Cowboys’ cornerback DaRon Bland won his NFC Defensive Player of the Month Award before this one, because if the voting would’ve run through Nov. 30 he’d be giving it back. With talk of him and his record five Pick 6s being a candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Bland crashed back to Earth in front of a national TV audience during an ugly first half.
He was beaten twice for touchdowns by DK Metcalf, badly missed a tackle and was called for interference in the end zone. In a memorable season, it was a forgettable half. Instead of hanging his helmet, however, Bland picked off Geno Smith (for his eighth of the season) midway through the third quarter.