DAL-WAS grades: Dak Prescott earns Cowboys’ top offensive grade in NFC East win

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Cowboys' 27-23 Week 2 win over the Redskins.

| 9 months ago
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

DAL-WAS grades: Dak Prescott earns Cowboys’ top offensive grade in NFC East win

Dallas Cowboys 27, Washington Redskins 23

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Cowboys’ NFC East road win over the Redskins.

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback grade: Dak Prescott, 81.7

In his second NFL start, Dak Prescott had an impressive showing. He dropped back to pass only 34 times, as the Cowboys’ play-calling seemed to pick its spots when attacking the Redskins’ defense. Prescott finished with 22 completions on 30 attempts, with no drops by his receivers. While under pressure, he managed to complete six of eight passes. Although he was sacked four times (one of which was a designed bootleg at the end of the game to run out the clock), he played mistake-free football, and had some clutch medium-range completions to Dez Bryant across the middle to continue drives.

Dak Prescott versus pressure

Top  offensive grades

QB Dak Prescott, 81.7

WR Dez Bryant, 80.6

WR Cole Beasley,  79.2

 LT Tyron Smith,  77.7

C Travis Fredrick, 76.1

Prescott to Dez Bryant led the resurgence

Prescott targeted Cowboys WR Dez Bryant 11 times on Sunday; seven of those attempts were completed for 102 yards, mostly coming against cornerback Bashaud Breeland. We didn’t see much Josh Norman versus Bryant until the later in the game, and even then it wasn’t on a consistent basis. The Cowboys seemed comfortable with Prescott running the play-action bootlegs off of the outside zone play, utilizing his athleticism on the edge to run or make the throw.

Top defensive grades

OLB Sean Lee, 84.3

FS Byron Jones, 81.4

C Orlando Scandrick, 76.4

DT Terrell McClain, 71.4

S Barry Church, 70.1

Red-zone defense helps Cowboys ride off to victory

The Cowboys’ defense held the Redskins to two red-zone field goals, and then Barry Church’s interception of Kirk Cousins denied Washington the chance to all but put the game away. The Cowboys’ secondary kept the defense in the game, as the Dallas pass-rush was basically non-existent. Safety Byron Jones had 46 snaps in coverage and was targeted five times, allowing three receptions for just 20 yards. Sean Lee was a star on defense for the Cowboys, and he finished with eight tackles along with an assist and two stops.

Washington Redskins

Quarterback grade: Kirk Cousins, 64.2

Up-and-down performance from Cousins marred by late interception

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins had some highs and lows versus Dallas; he dropped back to pass 50 times, completed 28 of 46 attempts (suffering one drop by his receivers), and did well against the blitz, completing 8 of 11 passes for 94 yards with a 98.3 passer rating. He also overthrew open receivers, and his forced interception late in the contest proved to be a game-changing moment.

Kirk Cousins versus pressure

Top offensive grades

LT Trent Williams, 83.1

RT Morgan Moses, 80.6

G Brandon Scherff, 79.1

TE Jordan Reed, 78.2

C Kory Lichtensteiger, 74.5

Redskins’ O-line impressive, even in loss

The Redskins’ offensive line kept them in the game with great pass-blocking, surrendering only one sack and three QB hurries. Cousins had great time and space in the pocket to throw, and the O-line did a great job keeping him clean. The Redskins’ run blocking found success, as well, and they moved the ball well, but field goals in the red zone and Cousins’ untimely end-zone interception simply left too many points on the field.

Top defensive grades

C Josh Norman, 91.9

OLB Trent Murphy, 84.5

LB Su’a Cravens, 80.2

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, 78.3

ILB Will Compton, 76.6

CB Josh Norman put on a show

Josh Norman was fun to watch on Sunday, as he was dominant versus Dallas. The former Panther had a couple of blanket coverage plays resulting in incomplete passes, and a great pass defense against Dez Bryant, knocking the ball away as Bryant attempted to secure it. Norman also forced a fumble by Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott. Trent Murphy was a huge disruptor, rushing the passer from his rush-linebacker position in the 3-4 scheme. He lined up on both the left and right sides of the offensive formation, notching two sacks, a QB hit, and four QB pressures on the night.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

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| Analyst

Taylor is an offensive line and run-game specialist at Pro Football Focus. He has coached at every level of college football, with experience at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Central Missouri, and Wyoming.

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