Dallas Cowboys: My Four Thoughts on Week Twelve

The Dallas Cowboys just got a big win at home against their arch rivals, the Washington Redskins. Here are some thoughts from Week Twelve.

Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) high fives the crowd as he leaves the field after the win over the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys defeat the Redskins 31-26. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of a big win against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. This was the first time the Cowboys rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would face a team for the second time during the regular season, and they did not disappoint.

The Cowboys have won their tenth game in a row and that is historic for plenty of reasons but more importantly it signifies something much more important, a fundamentally sound football team.

The Cowboys are winning in a lot of different ways and the defensive unit are playing their hearts out. Several things stood out in this performance that really gave the Cowboys an edge as they continued to be highly productive on both sides of the ball.

#1 – The struggle to stop Zeke continues

Elliott has been a man amongst boys as he continues to gouge opposing defenses for big gains each week. The Cowboys running back has played as if he is a veteran player at his position and even though the Redskins stopped him behind the line at several points throughout the game he still found his way into the end zone twice.

The Vikings may be the best true run defense the Cowboys face all season as they have a pretty balanced defensive line. It will be interesting to see if Zeke can still find ways to gash the Minnesota defense for big gains. Elliott should remain one of the driving forces of this offense for the foreseeable future.

Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass as Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) defends during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#2 – Dez Bryant exposes Josh Norman

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is one of the highest paid players in the NFL and he was exposed on Thursday. Norman has been a controversial figure since his scuffle with New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

This season, it has been his propensity to hold wide receivers and taunt them on the field that has drawn the ire of several players around the league.

Norman’s frustration boiled over in this game as Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant converted crucial third downs that would help put away their hated rival.

The Redskins biggest free agent acquisition was tied to Bryant all day as he continued to get beat even on routes where Dez was not the targeted player.

Sure number 88 was held out of the red zone. But Bryant did enough damage to Washington to make sure they lost the game. And Norman should have prevented that. Instead he got into another altercation with another big name wide receiver that made him look foolish, in my opinion.

At a certain point Josh has to look at himself and maybe consider that he is the problem. And that he should work harder at making plays than trying to get under opposing an opposing players skin. If Norman cannot do that, than Washington really does need to get their money back.

Nov 13, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) reaches for a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

#3 – All the Cowboys wide receivers are doing their part

The Dallas wide receiving corps was extremely productive on Thursday as every reception they hauled in was important in this game.

From breakout receiver Cole Beasley, to former Oakland Raider Brice Butler, all of the Cowboys receivers got in on the action.

Even when they were not targeted receivers were stretching the field and drawing penalties.

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This groups ability to help convert third downs and keep drives alive is the backbone of this offensive attack.

Several times the Redskins defense bottled up starting running back Ezekiel Elliott for minimal gain and these wide receivers stepped up and converted a third and long or a third and medium.

Terrance Williams clutch touchdown catch may just be one of the best toe taps in the history of the NFL and he has made a habit of making those crucial plays.

This group is only getting better and more productive as the season goes along.

Nov 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) gets up after a big hit during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

#4 – Cowboys Week 13 Opponent – The Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings will battle the Cowboys in what will be a hard hitting matchup of two hot NFC teams.

Dallas enters Week Thirteen with a 10-1 record, sitting atop the NFL standings.

While Minnesota has a record of 6-5 after losing their last four out of five games.

Yet, the Vikings may pose a bigger threat than their mediocre record advertises.

Minnesota’s defense is only getting healthier.

But I still believe this Cowboys offense should outscore the Vikings offense.

Minnesota’s offense has struggled to string together drives, especially long ones.

The Vikings failure to control the clock in the second half of the season has also led to some big losses. And this could be their Achilles heal.

This will be one of the better Thursday night games of the season. Football fans should be in for a real treat.

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