ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — In one of their most complete games of the season, the Bills beat down one of the top teams in the NFL 31-10, improved to 8-6 on the season and enhanced their playoff chances. Here are my 4 Observations from the Bills win over the Cowboys.
Cowboys get Cooked
The Bills pushed the Dallas defense all over the field. James Cook finished with a career high in everything imaginable. Cook’s 221 scrimmage yards were the most since Fred Jackson during the 2009 season (227 scrimmage yards). He had a touchdown rushing and receiving. The Bills gave the ball to Cook over and over and over again; the Cowboys knew it was coming and still couldn’t stop it. James has become a very big part of the offense since Joe Brady took over as the interim coordinator. He has 84 touches in the last four games since Brady started calling plays.
The Silence of Lamb
The Bills defense has been very good again No. 1 receivers this season, and that trend continued Sunday. CeeDee Lamb’s streak of catching a touchdown in five straight games came to end. He finished with seven receptions and 53 yards and was a non-factor. He did run for an insignificant touchdown with under 3 minutes to go in the game. We can add him to the list of elite receivers the Bills secondary has buried, along with Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, Jamar Chase and A.J. Brown.
Defense dominates Dak
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was the MVP favorite entering the game, but the Bills held him to a season-low 134 yards passing. The Cowboy’s high-flying offense was leading the league with 32.4 points per game but was held to a season-low 10 points. Dak was sacked three times and the Bills defense had seven QB hits. The Cowboys quarterback never looked comfortable, and their offense couldn’t find a rhythm. Last week the Bills put the brakes on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs; this week, it was Prescott and the Cowboys.
The Bills took care of business and were able to keep pace with the playoff pack. According to the New York Times playoff simulator, the Bills postseason odds climbed to 70%, way up from last week. The Bills are one of four teams with 8-6 records, but due to tiebreakers, they trail the other three teams with the same record. They are two games behind the Miami Dolphins for first place in the division, but the schedule ahead is much easier for the Bills. They play at LA and host New England; the Bills will be huge favorites in both games. It’s a different story for the Dolphins, who host the Cowboys and then play in Baltimore. If the Bills win both and Miami loses either game, the division will be decided in Week 18.
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Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.