New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys: Prescott Leads Cowboys to 2-0 Start
The Dallas Cowboys secured their second straight win to start the 2022 NFL season, defeating the New York Jets on Sunday by a final score of 20-10. While the game was tighter than their Week 1 blowout victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cowboys leaned on a stifling defense and made enough offensive plays to pull away in the second half.
Key Moments That Led to Dallas Cowboys’ Victory
Several pivotal plays throughout the game shifted momentum and helped the Cowboys prevail over the Jets. Some essential sequences may not stand out on the stat sheet but significantly impact the outcome.
Dak Prescott’s Scramble Sparks Opening TD Drive
After winning the coin toss, the Cowboys received the ball first instead of deferring. This gave their offense an early chance to set the tone. On a 3rd-and-6 from the Jets’ 20-yard line, QB Dak Prescott scrambled for a 15-yard gain down to the 5-yard line. This crucial run set up TE Jake Ferguson’s TD catch three plays later, staking Dallas to an early 7-0 advantage.
Cowboys Stuff New York Jets’ Rushing Attack
The Cowboys knew stopping the run would be critical against the New York Jets. On the New York Jets’s opening offensive play, Dallas DE DeMarcus Lawrence shot into the backfield and dropped RB Breece Hall for a 4-yard loss. This set the tone, as the Cowboys held the Jets to 53 rushing yards all game. Taking away New York’s ground attack forced them into difficult passing situations.
Sauce Gardner Drops Potential Pick-6
Looking to respond after the Cowboys went up 14-3, New York Jetss rookie CB Sauce Gardner stepped in front of a Dak Prescott pass along the sideline for what appeared to be an easy interception. However, Gardner dropped the ball, taking away a golden opportunity for a pick-6 touchdown that would’ve swung momentum back to New York.
Pass Interference Extends Cowboys’ TD Drive
Up 14-10 late in the second quarter, Dallas faced 3rd-and-goal from the 13-yard line. Prescott’s pass to WR Jalen Tolbert in the end zone fell incomplete, but Jets CB Brandin Echols was flagged for pass interference. This penalty placed the ball at the 1-yard line, allowing TE Luke Schoonmaker to haul in a TD catch on the next play. Instead of potentially settling for a field goal, Dallas went up 21-10 after converting the 2-point try.
Cowboys’ Defense Sets Tone to Start 2nd Half
Clinging to an 11-point lead after halftime, Dallas’ defense made two massive plays to open the third quarter. On the first snap, LB Micah Parsons pressured Jets QB Zach Wilson into a quick throw. In the next play, the Cowboys stuffed Breece Hall for a loss of 2. This stout start forced a New York punt, giving Dallas’ offense great field position to extend the lead.
Rookie Kicker Brandon Aubrey Drill’s 55-yard FG
Facing 4th-and-4 from the New York Jets’ 38-yard line midway through the third quarter, the Cowboys chose to trot out rookie K Brandon Aubrey for a long 55-yard field goal try rather than punting. Aubrey confidently nailed the kick, pushing Dallas’ lead to 24-10. This long make was crucial for Aubrey’s confidence while giving the Cowboys a comfortable two-score cushion.
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Strong Defense, Rushing Attack Key for Dallas
The Cowboys moved to 2-0 primarily thanks to another smothering effort from Dan Quinn’s defense. Dallas held New York Jets to just 3 points through 3 quarters while forcing Wilson into frequent mistakes. The Jets managed only 282 total yards.
Offensively, RB Tony Pollard spearheaded a ground game that racked up 129 rushing yards against a sturdy Jets defensive front. Pollard and RB Ezekiel Elliott kept the chains moving, allowing Dallas to control time of possession and set up play-action passes.
Prescott completed 22/30 passes for 210 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His steady play guided the Cowboys’ offense, while Dallas’ offensive line largely kept him upright versus a fierce Jets pass rush.
Cowboys Face Early NFC East Test Next Week
Riding high from two straight wins to open the season, the Cowboys will face their first division test in Week 3 when they host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Though they’ve dominated their first two contests, Dallas can’t afford to overlook the improved Giants, who want to make an early statement in the NFC East race.
Securing a division win would keep the Cowboys tied atop the NFC East alongside the Philadelphia Eagles entering October. It would also give Dallas an early edge for potential playoff tiebreakers. But the Giants will be eager to knock off their NFC East rivals on primetime TV.
After facing the New York Jets, the Cowboys’ schedule takes a challenging turn with games against the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia, and Washington over the month. Building momentum now will be essential as the competition stiffens. But if the defense maintains its dominant form, Dallas should remain right in the mix both in the division and conference.