Dak Prescott outplays Kirk Cousins in Dallas win

*Kirk Cousins threw an interception in the end zone with the Redskins leading by three and driving for points. The pick led to an Alfred Morris touchdown against his former squad to give the Dallas Cowboys the go-ahead score in a 27-23 victory. Washington lost their second home game to fall to 0-2. Dallas (1-1) avoided two division losses to open the season. *

*Here is what we learned: *

  1. Kirk Cousins was the Cowboys' best defensive player Sunday. The Redskins' quarterback threw off target for the majority of the loss. He missed DeSean Jackson on two deep passes that could have gone for scores. Cousins continued to look antsy in the pocket and not confident in his reads versus an undermanned Dallas defense. His 364 yards were more fantasy production than solid football play. Even on his 57-yard bomb to rookie Josh Doctson, Cousins underthrew what would have been a touchdown if he'd hit the wide open receiver in stride. Five plays later, Cousins made a boneheaded decision on 3rd-and-goal that resulted in an interception, setting up the Cowboys' go-ahead score. It was apropos that Cousins' Hail Mary attempt at sailed out of the end zone without giving a Redskins receiver a chance to make a play on the ball.
  1. Dak Prescott was solid under center, engineering three long touchdown drives of 94, 75 and 80 yards. Cowboys coaches helped protect the rookie with a bevy of play-action and roll-out calls. Prescott stood strong and calm in the pocket, and proved shifty enough to elude defenders and generate positive gains when plays broke down. The rookie signal-caller spread the ball around to seven receivers on his 292-yard passing day. Dak also added a touchdown dive. Prescott averaged 9.7 yards per pass, but Dallas offensive coaches continue not to stretch the field with the rook under center.
  1. Dez Bryant showed up big, hauling in seven receptions for 102 yards. Prescott promised not to force the ball to Bryant this week, but it was obvious the game plan called for getting the Pro Bowl receiver heavily involved. Bryant was targeted 12 times.

Josh Norman traveling to cover Bryant was a (nauseating) storyline all week. The Redskins corner stayed on the left side of the defensive formation, for the most part. Norman did move around to matchup with Dez during certain points of the game. Perhaps defensive coordinator Joe Barry should have utilized his high-paid corner more. Norman locked down Dez in their few one-on-one tilts. When covered by Norman, Bryant caught zero passes on just two targets -- including a beautiful punch of the ball by Norman that would have been a catch. Bryant sliced up other Redskins corners in zone and Bashaud Breeland in one-on-one matchups. Washington has deeper problems on defense than where Norman lines up.

  1. The Cowboys' defense continues to struggle to get stops. The front got run over, and the secondary got twisted with several miscommunications. If it weren't for Cousins' inaccuracy, the stats -- and outcome -- would have looked downright dreadful for Jason Garrett's team
  1. Ezekiel Elliott had more space to run than Week 1 and displayed speed to the outside on a career-long 21-yard jet. Zeke compiled 83 yards on 21 totes and a score. The rookie also had two second-half fumbles. He lost the first, leading to a Redskins go-ahead field goal. On his second, Doug Free pounced on the ball to save the Cowboys from disaster. With Morris taking the rest of the snaps, the Cowboys scored to put the game away.
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