Dak Prescott was near perfect in leading a balanced, dynamic attack. Micah Parsons once again wreaked havoc by leading a dominant defense.
Behind Prescott and Parsons, Dallas dismantled Minnesota and put the rest of the NFL on alert with a convincing 40-3 road victory Sunday against a team that had won seven games in a row.
How about those Cowboys! No team has had a more impressive win this season.
“This is exactly what I expected,” said Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse. “We knew we would come in here and knock them down. We showed them who the strongest team is, and it’s us. That’s the kind of football we can play week in, week out if we stick together .” and do our job.”
The Cowboys (7-3) are unlikely to win the NFC East. They are two games behind the Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) and have already lost to them. But they proved why they will be a dangerous team that no one wants to face in January after the biggest road win in team history.
“This team has the work ethic. It has the attitude. They have a tough mentality, which you have to have,” said coach Mike McCarthy.
The Cowboys have averaged 28.8 points per game in Prescott’s five starts. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, who each scored two touchdowns against the Vikings (8-2), provide a strong 1-2 running attack. Maybe they’ll eventually add Odell Beckham Jr. to join Ceedee Lamb, giving Prescott another gun.
“Right now, the challenge is dealing with success,” Prescott said. “It’s hard to play a game like this in the NFL. To be able to do that, we have to put this behind us and know that we have to go there – we’re as good as our last.” game. We have to turn the page and put another one together on Thursday.”
The Cowboys will host the Giants (7-3) on Thanksgiving in a battle for second place in the division.
For now, the Buffalo Bills are the best second team in the NFL. They bounced back nicely from an error-filled overtime loss at home to the Vikings with a 31-23 victory over Cleveland.
Despite a chaotic week in which they were forced to play a “home” game in Detroit as a storm dropped dozens of feet of snow in western New York, the Bills (7-3) got back on track against the Browns.
Josh Allen failed to turn the ball after a rough three-week stretch and the offense scored on all five possessions in the second half.
“We still don’t feel like we played very well, but it shows that we played smart football and scored 31 points and didn’t play to our level,” said Allen.
The Bills can eventually surpass Miami (7-3) in the AFC East – the Dolphins won the first game and the teams meet on December 18 in Buffalo. Like Dallas, the Bills also play against the Lions (4-6) on Thursday.
The Cincinnati Bengals are another second-place team finding its groove. The reigning AFC champion defeated Pittsburgh 37-30 for their fourth victory in five games. Even without Ja’Marr Chase, the Bengals (6-4) go on the offensive. Joe Burrow led the way with four touchdown passes and running back Samaje Perine set a franchise record with three touchdown catches.
The Bengals are one game behind the Baltimore Ravens (7-3) in the AFC North. The Ravens won in Cincinnati in October and the division could be on the line when the teams meet in Baltimore in Week 18.
“I think we play as well as everyone else,” said Burrow. “We are well on our way offensively. There are still some points left. There is of course always room for improvement.”
In a season full of close games and comeback wins, the last team standing cannot finish the regular season in first place.