Jason Garrett managed the season finale with an air of caution. Having already won the rights to the Number One Seed in the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys chose NOT to chase any records, 14 wins, 40 yards for Zeke, and Sean Lee’s 16th regular season game, and opted for what was best for the team heading into the playoffs.
The Cowboys rested several players, some to their surprise, like Ezekiel Elliott, who was prepared to play until they cut off his tapings just before kickoff.
Sean Lee was dressed but watched the entire game from the sidelines. This also allowed extended snaps to Andrew Gachkar, a talented linebacker that could never replace a healthy Sean Lee.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Cedric Thornton and Terrell McClain all received the day off in order to heal for the upcoming playoffs. Joining the defensive linemen were offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Ronald Leary.
Randy Gregory received extended snaps in the contest due to the resting of all the other linemen. One thing I have to say about Gregory, he is FAST. Gregory showed a quickness to come around the corner. He also showed his speed when he refused to give up on running plays and somehow he has managed to improved over last seasons’ number 94.
Dak Prescott was allowed to lead his team into the 16th regular season game. He managed to break a record! In 11 of his 16 games Dak had a passer rating over 100. Dak played just two series then was replaced by Tony Romo. The score was tied 3-3 on Daks departure.
Tony Romo seen his first action since last season. There was NO rust on Tony’s game. He played one series against the Eagles, almost effortlessly driving the Cowboys 75 yards and scoring a touchdown with a great pass to Terrance Williams. When Romo made his exit, the Cowboys led 10-3.
Darren McFadden showed exactly why the Cowboys kept him around after his elbow injury.
McFadden still would be a three down back on over twenty teams in the NFL. His physicality will certainly come into play in the playoffs.
Chris Jones, our punter, continues to be a valuable cog for this Cowboys’ team.
His punts really have put opponents in terrible field position, and Sunday was no exception. This is one Cowboys who is underrated.
The Cowboys managed to finished the season at 13-3. As I had said in preseason, this was NOT the same team that took the field in 2015. This was a team that survived Romo’s injury and fought like real Cowboys protecting their turf and their integrity.