1. No offense adjusts like the Cowboys‘. After four straight punts to start the game, the Cowboys finished the Ravens off with five straight scoring drives to end the game. Dak Prescott took a number of hits early and misfired as the Cowboys struggled to stop Baltimore’s blitzes. By the time it was over, Prescott finished the game completing 19 of his last 20 passes. He was incredibly accurate, made all the right decisions and Dallas’ line protected him well after early struggles.
2. Most teams have a “four-minute offense.” The Cowboys have an eight-minute offense. Given the ball up just a touchdown with over eight minutes left, the Cowboys proceeded to squeeze the life out of the game with a 13-play drive that ended Baltimore’s hopes. Ezekiel Elliott earned 71 of his hard-earned 97 yards after halftime. It’s amazing how easy Prescott and the Cowboys can make it look against a quality defense.
3. Steve Smith Sr. might want to reconsider retirement again. He made a number of terrific catches and plays after the catch on the way to 99 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. Smith also passed 1,000 receptions for his career, with catch No. 999 a gorgeous leaping toe-tap after a typically poor Joe Flacco pass. Smith still shows burst, not to mention verbal fire while undressing some of Dallas’ cornerbacks.
4. Joe Flacco needs to be better. This was one of his cleaner games of the season (269 yards on 35 attempts), but he still misses too many routine throws and throws short of the sticks on third down way too often.
5. The Ravens really missed cornerback Jimmy Smith. Prescott picked on Ravens cornerbacks Shareece Wright and Tavon Young, especially when they were matched up against a typically fired up Dez Bryant. (Dez finished with 80 yards and two touchdowns on six catches.)
6. Baltimore did a lot of things well in this game, including another standout performance by Terrell Suggs, yet they still lost by two scores. That speaks to Dallas’ dominance rather than a fault of the Ravens. Baltimore remains very much in the AFC North mix at 5-5 while Dallas is cruising at 9-1.