The Dallas Cowboys’ dynamic rookie duo is showing no signs of slowing down.
Quarterback Dak Prescott beat the Green Bay Packers’ depleted secondary through the air. Running back Ezekiel Elliott wore the defense down on the ground.
Prescott threw three touchdown passes and Elliott pounded away at the Packers for 157 yards on 28 carries in Dallas’ 30-16 road win Sunday.
“That’s how we play with our physical style,” Elliott said. “A lot of teams, they don’t want to bang in there for four quarters and as the game goes on, we get stronger and they get a little bit weaker.”
The surging Cowboys (5-1) won their fifth straight with Prescott and Elliott reaching new milestones.
Elliott now has 703 yards rushing, the second-most in a player’s first six career games behind only Eric Dickerson (787). Elliott also became the only rookie to rush for at least 130 yards in four consecutive games.
Prescott was 18 of 27 for 247 yards. He shook off two fumbles — losing one — and an interception to lead Dallas on a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley for an 18-point lead with 10:26 left over Green Bay (3-2).
Prescott is starting for veteran Tony Romo, who injured his back in the preseason. Romo seems to be getting healthier and could be close to returning. Following a bye, the Cowboys next play on Oct. 30 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Prescott is making coach Jason Garrett’s impending decision on whether to go back to Romo tougher every week.
“This is his team. This is Tony’s team and I’m just here to help my team win each and every game that I can,” Prescott said.
There is no quarterback controversy in Green Bay, though there are plenty of questions about the state of the passing game.
Four turnovers ultimately doomed the Packers. But once again, drops were a problem a few times with receivers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 31 of 42 for 294 yards, but also accounted for two turnovers with an interception and fumble.
“Taking care of the ball, that’s the No. 1 priority. We had opportunities today and gave it up, and multiple times, and that’s never been something we’ve done here,” receiver Jordy Nelson said. “So we’ve got to get that fixed quickly.”
Other notes and takeaways from Sunday’s game:
BOO BIRDS: Even Rodgers wasn’t immune from the uncharacteristic boos from Packers fans at times directed at the struggling offense.
“Look, we’re upset, they’re upset, it’s part of it,” Rodgers said of the booing. “It’s not the first time. Probably won’t be the last time.” The Packers didn’t get into the end zone until Rodgers and Cobb connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:53 left to get within 27-16.
RECORD STREAK OVER: Prescott threw the first interception of his career after he was picked off on third-and-8 from the Dallas 6, throwing out of his end zone with 20 seconds left in third quarter. Safety Morgan Burnett had the diving interception. Prescott’s NFL-record streak for a quarterback at the start of his career without an interception ended at 176 pass attempts. He broke the mark of 162 previously held by New England’s Tom Brady earlier in the game.
STRENGTH VS. STRENGTH: Dallas dented Green Bay’s league-best run defense . The Cowboys rushed for 93 yards in the first half against the Packers, which was already a season high against Green Bay. The Packers had been allowing 42.8 yards per game entering Sunday, while Dallas was averaging a league-best 155.2 yards per game.
“Whether it’s winning your 1-on-1 matchups or getting off blocks or just finishing the play, really, overall it just wasn’t good enough,” Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said.
LATE TURNAROUND: After a three-and-out late in the second quarter for the Packers, the Cowboys went on five-play, 97-yard scoring drive in just 33 seconds, ending with Prescott’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler. The score gave Dallas an 11-point lead and momentum going into halftime.
It was Dallas’ longest touchdown drive since a three-play, 98-yard scoring drive against the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 23, 2011.
THINNED OUT: The Packers’ thin secondary, which was already without CBs Sam Shields (concussion) and Quinten Rollins (groin), lost CB Damarious Randall in the second quarter after he aggravated a groin injury. McCarthy has already ruled out Rollins for Thursday night’s game against Chicago.
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