Dorance Armstrong Jr. and the Dallas Defense defeated the Los Angeles Rams 22-10. The Dallas Cowboys defense, led by Armstrong Jr. and Micah Parsons, haunted Matthew Stafford all afternoon with multiple pressures, hits, sacks, and turnovers. The Cowboys continue to lean on their defense while the Rams need to go back to the drawing board for the 2022 season.
HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!?
The @dallascowboys take down the defending Super Bowl Champs to move to 4-1! #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/BlXxnTUK0S
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 9, 2022
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Dorance Armstrong Jr. and the Dallas Cowboys D-Line Secure NFC Victory
Dorance Armstrong Jr. Dominated Early
Dallas faced off against the Rams during the afternoon game on Fox with what was expected to be an NFC showdown. This matchup between Dallas and the defending Superbowl champs proved to be a defensive struggle. Armstrong Jr. started the scoring with a strip-sack-fumble leading to a 19-yard score for Demarcus Lawrence.
Armstrong Jr. capitalized again on the next Rams possession. On 4th and 10, Armstrong Jr. blocked a punt. The defense set the tone early for the Cowboys as both defensive plays led to a point for Big D. The blocked punt led to a 33-yard field goal for the former and current Cowboy Brett Maher. Dallas would continue to lean on a strong defensive performance to shut down this explosive Rams offense.
The vaunted defensive line for Dallas tormented Stafford all afternoon with five sacks, including six tackles for loss, and 11 hits on the quarterback. Micah Parsons led the defensive line again with two sacks. Jourdan Lewis, Osa Odighizuwa, and Armstrong Jr. also added sacks to the tally. Parsons and Odighizuwa also got after Stafford with seven combined hits on the quarterback.
Perhaps the biggest sack of the night came on 2nd down and nine yards to go with 4:06 left in the fourth quarter. After a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty Odighizuwa broke through and tackled Stafford for loss setting up a crucial 3rd and 13, which would ultimately lead to a game-sealing interception.
Parsons adapted to a new role on Sunday with an apparent injury. He was shown riding the stationary bike on the sideline apparently nursing a lower-half injury. The Cowboys went as far as to keep him on the sideline until pass-rushing situations in order to conserve their defensive superstar. Parsons took on his new role and exhibited his typical ferocity rushing the passer despite grimacing Sunday afternoon.
Dallas Defensive Backs
The secondary for Dallas was great outside one play. The Dallas defensive backs let Cooper Kupp get loose for a 75-yard touchdown early on, the only touchdown for the Rams. After the long touchdown, the secondary locked down and stifled Stafford and the pass-catchers for the rest of the night. Trevon Diggs did not record an interception or pass-defended, but he played tight coverage and made crucial tackles all game. While he doesn’t always live up to 2021, Diggs continues to play at a high-level week in and week out.
Dallas would secure the victory with an interception in the fourth quarter. Stafford dropped back and was heavily pressured, overthrowing his intended receiver. The former Georgia Bulldog overthrew his intended target and absorbed a big hit, clutching his throwing hand after getting up from the turf. The secondary didn’t allow any room for Stafford to throw the ball comfortably. Paired with the defensive line and their performance, the Cowboys were in attack mode against Stafford all afternoon.
Points allowed by the Dallas Cowboys on their 4-game win streak:
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 9, 2022
Defense Wins Championships
Dallas is obviously handicapped with Cooper Rush playing signal-caller. Dak Prescott has recently been considered day-to-day with trouble gripping the football. Dan Quinn’s defense has elevated their level of play from last season and has become elite. The defense is winning games for the Cowboys giving up 19, 17, 16, 10, and 10 points against opponents. Dallas is also second in the NFL with 20 sacks trailing only San Francisco and second in turnovers with five behind the Philadelphia Eagles with nine.
If the defense continues to play at this current level, Dallas will be a very dangerous team when Prescott returns from injury. Parsons, Lawrence, Odighizuwa, and Diggs are playing at a very high level. Quinn’s defense can keep Dallas in every game and even win games with sacks, turnovers, and special teams play. The Cowboys have to be excited about their defense and Rush’s 4-0 record while their superstar quarterback recovers from injury.
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