What We Saw: Week 2

Catch up on everything you missed from Week 2

Jets @ Cowboys

Final Score: Cowboys 30, Jets 10

Writer: Jason Wolf (@J_Wolf_Picks on Twitter)


At the beginning of the season, many had this matchup circled as one of the premier games of the whole year. Fast forward one week later and all the hype had been sucked out of the matchup due to Aaron Rodgers‘ extremely unfortunate season-ending Achilles tear. What was set to be a potentially tantalizing back-and-forth affair became one of the mismatches of the week as Cowboys entered the game as 8.5 point favorites. The Cowboys ended up dominating the Jets in all facets of the game with none being so obvious and impactful as the dominance the Cowboys enjoyed at the point of attack on both sides of the ball. Dallas’ offensive line was opening up holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and the Cowboys’ front seven were applying for short term housing rental licenses in the Jets’ backfield. Zach Wilson was under duress all game, Dak Prescott was cool as a cucumber with all day to throw, and CeeDee Lamb feasted as the Cowboys dismantled the Jets, 30-10.


Three Up

  • Tony Pollard – Is 100% certifiably the man in Dallas. It’s clear McCarthy wants to establish the run, and with an O-line and RB match-made-in heaven, why wouldn’t he? Pollard’s workhorse offensive load + reliable goal-line touches have his stock going nowhere but up.
  • CeeDee Lamb – Lamb was having his way with Sauce Gardner and the Jets secondary all game. Did most of his damage in 1st half and Dak stopped feeding him when offense took the foot off the gas. Has potential to put these kinds of numbers up nearly every game.
  • Garrett Wilson – Even though Wilsons’ day could have easily been a total dud if not for a fluke TD, Zach Wilson’s positive developments as a passer bode well for Garrett Wilson. Wilson won’t be going up against Dallas every week meaning there will be more time for downfield plays to develop. Signs of encouragement for those helpful he would return most of fantasy value sans Rodgers.

Three Down

  • Dak Prescott – Team might be so good that they don’t need Dak to go off very often. Between strong D + ground game, Dak might not stuff the stat sheet too often.
  • Breece Hall – There’s only so much an ultra-talented RB can do behind a mess of an offensive line with negative game script. Will thank lucky stars they don’y play Dallas again but could run into similar issues against teams with dominant front seven.
  • Brandin Cooks – Cooks was inactive but you wouldn’t really notice. The offense hummed along just fine and you have to wonder what the target share will be like with Lamb/Pollard commanding targets in front of him in addition to Dallas’ strong D + run game.


New York Jets




Zach Wilson: 12/27, 170 Yards, TD, 3 INT | 5 Carries, 36 Yards

Looking at Zach Wilson’s game against the Cowboys through the lens of box score, counting stats would leave you with the impression that Wilson’s performance was abysmal; a leading cause of the Jets’ blowout loss. However, I actually came away from this game with a more positive impression of Wilson than I had before the game started. Granted, there were not many highlight plays to speak of for Wilson and the Jets’ offense but there were a decent amount of positives to take away about the Jets’ former #2 overall pick.

Though he completed less than 50% of his passes on the day, Wilson looked pretty accurate for the most part, fitting some nice throws into tight windows when he wasn’t facing immediate pressure when throwing the ball. Unfortunately for the Jets, these occurrences were few and far between as the Cowboys’ front seven were living in the Jets’ backfield all game long. It felt like Wilson was pressured on over half of all his dropbacks, and numerous running plays were blown up before they reached the line of scrimmage. Wilson’s three interceptions look awful on the box score but it wasn’t until the game was well out of hand in the fourth quarter where Wilson really started to turn it loose, leading to two of his turnovers. Though the game was a disaster for the Jets offense, Wilson did flash here and there, showing off his elite arm talent and playmaking ability using his legs.



  • Flashes great pocket presence + understanding of when to leave pocket and make a play using his legs.
  • Wilson unleashed an absolutely incredible throw (7:32, 4Q) to Allen Lazard which was ruled incomplete but is a great example of the elite arm talent Wilson possesses.
  • Showed some decisiveness in the hurry-up offense / two-minute drill, making plays with legs and quick decisions with the ball.
  • Made a great throw to Garrett Wilson for the Jets’ lone TD, but the play could have easily been stopped after the catch. 1/3 of Wilson’s pass yards came on this play, which is to say that his day could have been even worse if not for a defensive lapse in the secondary allowing Wilson to score.
  • Much improved leadership + body language when things aren’t going according to plan. Led by example, even when he was faced with pressure on nearly every play.

Missed Opportunities

  • 2nd & 1 (2:00, 1Q) Zach Wilson rolls out and has a wide open Garrett Wilson for a 1st down but his throw is slightly off, and the possession ends in a punt as they fail to pick up that yard and first down. Not the easiest throw on the field but with such minimal pressure affecting the play, Wilson is expected to make that throw.
  • On a Wilson INT in the fourth quarter, Wilson stared down his receiver the whole play, allowing the safety to commit to helping over the top and securing the interception. Had Wilson looked the safety off for even a second, the deep pass could have been a long completion or even a touchdown to Garrett Wilson.


Running Back


Breece Hall: 4 Carries, 9 Yards | 2 Targets

Breece Hall’s stat-line is about as useless as it gets from a fantasy standpoint, with him failing to register even a full fantasy point on the afternoon. This was hardly his fault however, as Dallas’ front seven truly dominated the game from start to finish. From his first carry of the game, which was absolutely stuffed for a four yard loss, to the final whistle, Dallas defenders were blowing up the Jets’ plays as soon as the ball was hiked. Hall was unable to get anything going this game (just like his backfield mates) due to the sheer dominance of Dallas’ play up front. Hall did flash his trademark speed + power combo on a play or two but the threat of the run game was essentially completely neutralized.


  • (9:06, 2Q) This play would have been a TFL for 90% of NFL RB’s but Hall’s elite shiftiness allowed him to slip the defender in the backfield as well as the next two guys who tried to bring him down.
  • Jets need to do a better job of manufacturing touches for Hall in space. Call some screens, sweeps, something to get him involved. No excuse for him to have five touches in a game where they’re desperately searching for an offensive spark.


Dalvin Cook: 4 Carries, 7 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)

Dalvin Cook fared about as well against the staunch Dallas defense as his backfield teammates did, which is to say not very well at all. Dalvin had no room to run, averaging less than 2 YPC with his best play of the day coming on a five yard pickup on his second carry of the game, when he shrugged a couple would-be tacklers off with relative ease. Most of Dalvin’s touches were doomed from the start as penetration from the Dallas defense was relentless. Cook’s most impactful play of the game was a lost fumble where he simply had the ball ripped from his grasp by Micah Parsons. Parsons is a beast for sure, but seeing how the ball was straight up taken from him was disconcerting, especially as last year, he led the league in fumbles from a RB.


Michael Carter: 2 Carries, 8 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 3 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Garrett Wilson: 8 Targets, 2 Receptions, 83 Yards, TD

Garrett Wilson was targeted on nearly 1/3 of all Zach Wilson’s attempts and for good reason. Though the Cowboys’ secondary was clearly focused on Wilson all game, he was still managing to create pockets of separation for QB Wilson to try to get him the ball. It was tough sledding for the entire Jets offense though as unending pressure from the Cowboys’ front seven made it nearly impossible for the Jets to get anything going through the ground or air. Run plays were stuffed at the LOS or behind it, and passing plays simply were not given appropriate time to develop. One thing that did go right though was Wilson’s 67 yard touchdown catch and run where he turned on the boosters and outran the Cowboys’ secondary to take a play to the house where most other receivers probably don’t have the breakaway speed to make that same play.


  • Garrett Wilson’s line from today’s game was inflated due to a poor angle taken by a Cowboys defender, gifting Wilson his house call. Take that fluke score away, and Garrett’s day looks a lot worse. Can’t take the TD off the board, but uglier days like this could be a repeating thing when Jets play a team with a dominant front seven (good news for them, Dallas might have the #1 most dominant DL).
  • Garrett’s breakaway speed is something to behold as he can seemingly turn on the boosters at will.


Tyler Conklin: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 50 Yards

Tyler Conklin was invisible for the vast majority of the game but he was suddenly everywhere when the Jets went to a hurry-up offense. Conklin caught three balls on the Jets last drive of the first half, all short-intermediate quick hitting routes to keep the chain moving. Created plenty of separation on his routes but Dallas DB’s were also dropping back and letting the Jets dink and dunk during their two-minute drill.


Allen Lazard: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 23 Yards

Lazard almost made one of the highlights of the game as he nearly came down with a 40 yard bomb down the sideline from Zach Wilson on what was the quarterback’s best throw of the game (even though it was ruled incomplete).


Mecole Hardman Jr.: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards


Dallas Cowboys




Dak Prescott: 31/38, 255 Yards, 2 TD | 6 Carries, 14 Yards

Dak Prescott opened the game by completing his first 13 passes on route to what I think is one of the most efficient and impressive performances he has ever put together. The Cowboys’ offensive line provided Prescott the time he needed, and Dak delivered time and time again against what is supposed to be one of the top secondaries in the league. Dak looked comfortable, confident,  and in control all game as he was dropping dimes throughout all areas of the field, running Mike McCarthy’s offense to perfection. He showed an especially impressive connection with CeeDee Lamb, who Dak was looking for (and finding) consistently all game. Much concern was expressed over the offseason about McCarthy calling plays and how the offense would look but the balance between run/pass and the use of play action off the success of the run game was very encouraging if you are a Cowboys fan or fantasy footballer invested in this offense.


  • Multiple times, Dak displayed impressive pocket command as well as surprising evasiveness to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet (particularly 3rd &6, 11:14, 1Q). The scramble was excellent, however Dak could have done better to avoid taking the big hit at the end there.
  • Dak making the game look like he’s playing in slow motion; expertly maneuvering around pressure in the pocket and stepping up with perfect mechanics to deal strikes.
  • Dak should have had an interception on his box score but Sauce Gardner dropped a relatively easy interception (and potential pick 6 as well).
  • Dropping dimes left and right, placing balls exactly where they need to be. Using more touch than zip on his throws.

Missed Opportunities

  • On 3rd & goal (7:30, 3Q), Dak has a wide open Jake Ferguson in the back of the endzone but overthrows him just enough to where Ferguson can’t make a play on the ball, resulting in a FG instead of what should have been a TD. One of Dak’s few misses on the night.


Running Back


Tony Pollard: 25 Carries, 72 Yards | 8 Targets, 7 Receptions, 37 Yards

Pollard’s numbers from today’s game aren’t eye-popping from an efficiency or raw numbers standpoint but Pollard had a super impressive game nonetheless. Pollard was regularly picking up positive yardage and churning out YAC whether he was bursting out of the backfield or catching passes as a receiver. His usage is probably the most noteworthy thing from this game as his status as a rare true workhorse was further solidified. The Cowboys do like to mix some of the other guys in to give Pollard a breather or a little change of pace, but there might not be another RB in the league with as secure a workload between the 20’s and in the redzone. McCarthy’s system clearly calls to establish the run and Dallas’ formidable offensive line is a perfect pair to go along with Pollard’s aggressive and violent running style. Pollard is able to generate push behind his offensive line and there might not be a better o-line to push than the Cowboys’. Pollard’s efficiency won’t turn heads from this game but that’s mostly due to the fact that the Cowboys became more predictable as the game went on and they went into a more conservative, clock killing mode.


  • Usage is amongst the best/most reliable in the league at RB position.
  • Almost always the first look in goal-to-go situations.
  • Being used as a safety blanket in the passing game and he is responding by showing soft hands and good YAC ability.
  • Incredibly hard to bring down, almost always goes lower than defender and falls forward as a result.
  • Almost always goes lower than the defender


Rico Dowdle: 7 Carries, 26 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 17 Yards


  • Got first crack at backup carries after Pollard  and he did a good job pushing pile forward and falling forward on first carry.
  • Looks fast in open space and seems as if Cowboys are wanting to give him opportunities with ball in space.


Deuce Vaughn: 3 Carries, 16 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 16 Yards


  • Sticks out like a sore thumb for his small stature but makes up for it with speed + electric moves when he has the ball.
  • Cowboys drawing up some plays with intent for Vaughn to do work with the ball in space. Showed nice burst in taking a screen pass 11 yards for a first down.

Missed Opportunities

  • On 3rd & 5 (6:22, 1Q), Vaughn bobbled and caught an easy target, resulting in him getting tackled short of the first down immediately after securing the ball. Had he caught it cleanly (which he absolutely should have), he would have kept the drive going with a first down instead of the ensuing punt that happened as a result. Showed inexperience by trying to make his move before he had full control of the ball.


KaVontae Turpin: 2 Carries, 6 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


CeeDee Lamb: 13 Targets, 11 Receptions, 143 Yards

In a game where WR2 Brandin Cooks was inactive, CeeDee Lamb dominated the game from start to finish. He opened up the game by grabbing several balls on the opening drive and reaching over 100 yards before the halftime mark. CeeDee was doing work all over the field regardless of who was guarding him, even doing most of his work going up against elite CB Sauce Gardner. Lamb was constantly creating separation from man defense and finding the soft spot in the Jets’ zone, making highlight reel catches along the way. Lamb flashed athleticism, elite route running, and his trademark YAC ability in the open field. The offense featured Lamb in screens, deep shots, and in quick hitters in the middle of the field. It felt like Lamb could have gone off for 200+ yards but the Cowboys heavily let off the gas in the second half when their lead started to feel insurmountable.


  • Cowboys displaying creative ways to get their best skill player the ball, McCarthy’s offense impressing so far.
  • Lamb’s route running is crisp and is an under-appreciated aspect of his game.
  • Made an incredible catch (6:35, 2Q) where he high points a ball in traffic and knowing he will take a hit, comes down with the ball safely in his possession.
  • Flashes skill set of elite outside receiver as well as expert slot archetype.


Jalen Tolbert: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 18 Yards

Led the team in routes run.


Jake Ferguson: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 11 Yards, TD


  • Got a couple endzone targets, catching one for a touchdown. Could have had another TD but Dak missed him. A nice redzone weapon for a team lacking great RZ targets.


Michael Gallup: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 3 Yards


  • Seemingly an afterthought in the offense. If he only draws two targets without Cooks in the lineup then what does his ceiling look like?


Luke Schoonmaker: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard, TD

One response to “What We Saw: Week 2”

  1. jrjanowi says:

    Great Packers/Falcons write-up by Mr. Prendergast–detailed and entertaining

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