Five keys to the victory of the Dallas Cowboys over the Houston Texans
The Houston Texans were on their way to an upset until Dak Prescott led a 98-yard drive for Ezekiel Elliott to give the Dallas Cowboys the win.
The Dallas Cowboys (10-3) earned their tenth victory of the 2022 NFL season by beating the Houston Texans 27-23 (1-11-1) at AT&T Stadium.
Dak Prescott (24/39, 284 TD yards, 2 INTS) led an 11-play, 98-yard drive as Ezekiel Elliott gave the win to the Cowboys with a rushing touchdown.
The Texans tried to win the game with 41 seconds left, but back-to-back false start penalties by Laremy Tunsil complicated the drive and it all ended with an interception by Israel Mukuamu in the end zone after a desperate throw by David Mills.
Here are the five keys to the Dallas Cowboys' victory over the Houston Texans.
During the last offensive series, Prescott had a precise performance. Dallas' offense had no negative yardage plays and the quarterback connected three times with Dalton Schultz, once with CeeDee Lamb, Noah Brown and Elliot and ran three times to keep possession alive. Even though Michael Gallup couldn't score on a two-yard reception, Elliott gave it the win with a run down the middle of the line.
Elliott had 81 yards and a score on 18 offensive touches and Tony Pollard added 62 yards from scrimmage in 14 plays designed for him. According to the NFL Statistics Service, Pollard joined Terrell Owens, Frank Clarke and Duane Thomas as the only Cowboys players to record 10 touchdowns, rushing and passing, in a six-game span.
Fourth down defense
The Texans played it twice on fourth down and both times the Cowboys’ defense imposed its conditions. First, during the second quarter, on 4th and three from Dallas’ a42, Dameon Pierce only added two yards on a carry down the center of the line. Later, after Prescott’s second interception, the Houstonians were unable to advance four yards to the end zone and lost the ball at the 2-yard line.
Losing the ball
The Cowboys had three turnovers and the Texans two. From Prescott’s interceptions and KaVontae Turpin’s muffed punt, Houston had 14 points, while Dallas could have killed the game early if they had gotten drives off Dameon Pierce’s fumble during the third quarter.
Houston went with David Mills (16/21, 175 yards, INT) as the starting quarterback, but he was replaced by Jeff Driskel (4/6, 38 yards, TD) during the scoring drives of the Texans. Curiously, the head coach decided to use Mills in the last offensive series and this ended with the interception in a ‘Hail Mary’.
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