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Week 2 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 21


What you need to know

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescottís red-hot start to the season continued in Week 2, another sound divisional win. Prescott is completing more than 80% of his passes and the new look Cowboys offense is suddenly carving opponents more through the air than on the ground. Ezekiel Elliott was back to his typical workload after been scaled back in Week 1 with a late report to the team with his contract negotiations. Michael Gallup injured his knee in the win over Washington as a skill position question mark entering Week 3, one where they face a hapless Miami opponent in Dallas as they seek a 3-0 start.

Washington Redskins

Washington is facing several challenges on offense and defense. Neither side is helping each other as the offense can't extend drives and the defense can't get off the field on third downs. Until one of those areas are shored up it will be tough for them to play consistent football. If the offense could run the ball effectively it would take some pressure off the defense. The defense isn't generating turnovers and so far is being hung out to dry in the second half of games. Simply put, the Redskins need more talent on both sides of the ball to start making a bigger impact.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 30 - 269 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 69 - 0
Prescottís follow-up to his career day (405 yards, four touchdowns) in Week 1 was an 87% completion rate, three more scores, and adding his commonplace impact as a runner. Prescottís interception, his first of the season, was due to a drop by Randall Cobb, tipped into the air. Prescott used all parts of the field against Washington, including a deep post touchdown to new weapon Devin Smith and several rushing forays like his 40-yard zone read scamper. Two of Prescottís mere four incompletions against Washington were a should-have-been interception on a rollout near the goal line and missing a long touchdown opportunity to Michael Gallup as Prescott threw it over the wrong shoulder of Gallup. Prescott looks to continue his hot start against the struggling (putting it mildly) Miami Dolphins in Week 3.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 111 - 1, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
Elliott resumed his typical workload against Washington in Week 2 with 25 total touches. Elliott padded his box score late in the game as Dallas iced the win with a goal line touchdown and a rush of more than 25 yards, exhibiting nice cuts in the process, in the closing minutes. Elliott has been a secondary story to Dallasí overt offensive success through two weeks as Dak Prescott has been the engine and massive uptick from a season ago. Elliott could be in for a managed workload against Miami in Week 3, a likely comfortable win, to find work for promising rookie Tony Pollard.

RB Tony Pollard, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 22 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)
Pollard did not see an offensive touch against Washington until the second half as starter Ezekiel Elliott was up to his typical workload in Week 2. Pollardís highlight run, showing nice burst down to the goal line and then plunging in for a short-range score, was called back by penalty. Pollard is the clear backup to Elliott and could be poised for a decent workload in Week 3 against the struggling Dolphins.

WR Randall Cobb, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 5 - 24 - 0 (6 targets)
Cobb produced a modest stat line against Washington, operating near the line of scrimmage for his targets. Yards after the catch is where Cobb wins and he converted two receptions into post-catch yardage of note. Cobb did drop a pass, tipping it into the air and ultimately and interception, marring his performance and bobbling a screen pass. Cobb has filled the previous-season Cole Beasley role in the offense with a limited weekly ceiling but solid floor of offensive involvement.

WR Michael Gallup, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 68 - 0 (8 targets)
Gallup led the Cowboys in targets against Washington and logged a second consecutive impressive game to open his sophomore NFL season. Gallup showed nice hands on a contested reception and later missed a potential long touchdown as Dak Prescott threw a deep pass over Gallupís wrong shoulder. Gallupís progression from his rookie season, adding more intermediate route success has been a noteworthy trend through two games. Gallup limped off the field late in the game with a knee injury and is being evaluated early in the week in advance of their Week 3 matchup against Miami.

WR Amari Cooper, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 1 (5 targets)
Cooperís five targets were third among Dallasí wide receivers against Washington. Cooper was efficient on his opportunities, however, with a red zone touchdown (defender jumped the route, whiffed on the interception attempt, and Cooper walked into the end zone) and deep in-cut reception as his highlights. Cooper did log a holding penalty on a Tony Pollard touchdown run to wipe off the scoring play and had a comeback route drop.

TE Jason Witten, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 25 - 1 (4 targets)
Witten made a big play yet again for the Cowboys for the second consecutive week. Witten secured a small window target on a goal-line rollout for the short-range touchdown, but also caught his lone target of the season downfield on a deep in-cut this week. Wittenís range of route-running has shrunk considerably over the years, but Witten is one of the dedicated chain-movers and Ďstaying ahead of the chainsí targets within the Cowboys suddenly-dynamic passing game.

TE Blake Jarwin, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 22 - 0 (1 targets)
Jarwin is simmering as a secondary tight end offense for the Cowboys but flashed for a second consecutive week behind the short-range-centric Jason Witten. Jarwin corralled his lone target, a corner route, for a chunk gain against Washington. Jarwin offers more upside for impact plays if Jason Witten were to miss time.


Washington Redskins

QB Case Keenum, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 37 - 221 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
Case Keenum played a steady game although it resulted in a loss. The offense started slow with a few 3-and-out possessions, but Case finally put together a scoring drive at the end of the first quarter. The touchdown drive was run dominated with eight runs and two passes. To cap off the drive, Case handed the ball off on the goal line and Washington was on the board to start the second quarter. After halftime, Case orchestrated an eleven-play drive that ended with a twelve-yard pass on a hook route where the receiver did most of the work. Case didn't have many possessions to do much damage in the second half, but he did manage one more scoring drive as the game was mostly already decided. The defense struggled to get off the field, so the offense was stalled. Case took care of the ball and made plays, but not enough to get a win.

RB Adrian Peterson, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 25 - 1, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
Adrian Peterson only was given ten carries in this game as he got Washington on the board with the first touchdown. Most of his carries came on that scoring drive and the offense was out of sync most of the game moving forward. Long drives by Dallas and playing from behind most of the second half limited Adrian's rushing opportunities. He only averaged 2.5 yard per carry but as a volume-based runner these are expected stat lines when he can't be fed. The offensive line is also under-performing so consistent production is a challenge for all running backs.

RB Chris Thompson, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (8 targets)
Chris Thompson tied for the most receptions in this game with five. The receptions didn't come with much yardage, but he was very involved in this game as Washington played from behind. Chris also got two carries but only resulted in three yards. He had eight targets on the day and Chris' big play ability will pay off as long as he stays involved.

RB Wendell Smallwood, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
Wendell Smallwood received one carry in today's game. He was activated today as Derrius Guice was put on IR.

WR Terry McLaurin, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 1 (9 targets)
Terry McLaurin looks to be Washington's top target in the passing game. He has the most targets today with nine and Case made a decisive effort to look his way. He was only able to haul in five of those eight receptions and much of his production came when the game was decided. Including the touchdown, he scored. Washington dialed up a couple of deep shots for him today but couldnít connect.

WR Trey Quinn, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (7 targets)
Quinn was the third most targeted receiver for Washington today, but it resulted in less than forty yards. Trey is more of a short to intermediate target for Washington so it will take a few breaks for him to accumulate big yardage. His targets are a good indication of his involvement, but he is utilized as more of a chain mover.

WR Paul Richardson, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 16 - 1 (3 targets)
Paul Richardson only had three receptions on the day but managed to score one of Washington's three touchdowns. It was an impressive score as he took a hook route reception and turned up-field to gain an additional ten yards. Paul hasn't been a big part of this offense so far early in the season.

WR Kelvin Harmon, 6 offensive snaps
Kelvin Harmon was not targeted and did not record a catch.

TE Vernon Davis, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
Vernon Davis recorded three catches on four targets against Dallas. However, all his targets were in short areas so the impact for him was minimal. Vernon hasn't seen many opportunities up the seams as a vertical threat taking advantage of his speed. He will likely fall back into his backup role next week with Jordan Reed returning.