Click here for more PFF tools:
Dak Prescott continued to put his 2020 injury far in his rearview mirror. The Dallas QB completed 36 of his 51 passes for 445 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the victory. Prescott completed his first 10 passes and hit five big-time throws for a big-time throw rate of 9.8%. He was especially effective when it mattered most: Prescott completed 100% of his passes for 72 yards and the game-winning touchdown to CeeDee Lamb in overtime, putting the cherry on top of a 92.3 pass-grade performance.
CeeDee Lamb waved bye to him ????
— PFF (@PFF) October 17, 2021
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard were both effective in this one, receiving 54.8% (17) and 32.3% (10) percent of the carries, respectively. They both averaged over 4.0 yards per carry, and Pollard tallied 33 of his 41 yards after contact. Zeke broke two tackles, while Pollard broke three, and Elliott notched two explosive runs.
|Player||Rush grade||Attempts||Rush yards||YAC||First downs||Forced missed tackles||YPC|
Dallas’ dynamic duo of Lamb and Amari Cooper dominated the receiving snaps yet again, playing 48 and 51 snaps, respectively. Cooper commanded eight targets to Lamb’s 11, and Lamb hauled in nine catches compared to Cooper’s five. The Oklahoma product tallied 149 yards and two touchdowns, while Cooper notched 55 yards. Cooper stretched the field more than Lamb, boasting a 16.6 average depth of target.
Tight end Dalton Schultz saw twice the amount of snaps as Blake Jarwin (37 to 19) and tripled him in targets. Schultz hauled in five passes for 79 yards, but — much to the chagrin of fantasy managers — it was Jarwin who found the end zone. He finished the day with an efficient one catch for one yard and a touchdown.
The Dallas offensive line posted a strong 88.5 pass-blocking grade, allowing 10 total pressures and zero sacks on 52 pass-blocking snaps. Tackle Tyron Smith led the unit with strong pass- and run-blocking grades of 91.7 and 90.5, respectively. All-Pro guard Zack Martin posted the worst pass-blocking grade of linemen who played significant snaps, finishing the day with a 65.6 pass-blocking grade after he allowed three total pressures.
Dallas struggled against the run Sunday, posting a 43.6 run-defense grade. As a unit, the Cowboys tallied 23 tackles, 12 defensive snaps and one missed tackle on 27 run defense snaps. Randy Gregory was the line’s MVP Sunday, specifically in the pass-rushing department: He posted a 93.0 pass-rush grade, notching two sacks, three total pressures and a 22.2% win percentage on 18 pass-rush snaps.
Rookie Micah Parsons co-led the defense with safety Jayron Kearse, each tallying 50 snaps. Parsons had a solid day rushing the passer, beating his defender twice in 10 pass rush snaps, but he struggled in coverage. The Penn State product dropped back on 13 snaps and was targeted three times — he allowed three catches for 33 yards, a first down and a completion over 15 yards.
Trevon Diggs’ DPOY campaign continued against New England. The second-year corner grabbed his seventh interception of the year in the fourth quarter, returning it all the way for six points.
TREVON DIGGS OMG ????????
— PFF (@PFF) October 17, 2021
Diggs did allow a long touchdown to Kendrick Bourne on the following possession, but he still finished with a unit-best 63.4 coverage grade on 23 coverage snaps.
Mac Jones had an efficient outing, completing 71.4% of his passes (84.2% adjusted) for 229 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The quarterback hit four big-time throws for a big-time throw percentage of 19.1%. He had an average depth of target of 8.6, and 57.2% of his passing yards came in the air.
Damien Harris has taken full control of this backfield in terms of rushing, handling 66.7% of the rushing attempts while four other players combined for the rest. Harris carried the ball 18 times for 101 yards, 72 of which were after contact, and a touchdown. He was stuffed on just 5.6% of his carries.
Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden split the passing game work, receiving nine and seven receiving snaps, respectively. Stevenson pulled in all three of his targets for 39 yards, while Bolden had one catch on one target.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jakobi Meyers paced the receiving unit in snaps with 19 and targets with six, but he managed just 44 yards on five catches. Kendrick Bourne only saw 14 snaps and two targets, but he made the most of the limited opportunities. The former 49er broke free for a 75-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give New England a lead.
MAC JONES ???? FOR THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/HXfv9SMpOw
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 17, 2021
The New England offensive line struggled mightily in pass protection, allowing two sacks and a 30.4% pressure rate on 23 pass-blocking snaps en route to a poor 24.9 pass-blocking grade. Center David Andrews led the way in individual blocking grade, posting a strong 90.7 performance on the back of a 90.8 run-blocking grade. Guard James Ferentz sat on the other end of the spectrum with a 38.3 overall grade, weighed down by a 37.9 pass-blocking grade after being beaten three times by his defender
New England was relatively strong in run defense, finishing the evening with a 70.7 run defense grade after tallying 20 defensive snaps, five missed tackles and nine tackles for loss/no gain on 30 run defense snaps. No one really stood out individually in terms of pass-rushing, as all players along the Patriots defensive line finished with pass-rush grades within the 40s and 50s. Edge rusher Matthew Judon led the way with five hurries.
Kyle Van Noy paced the linebacker corps in snaps with 67, finishing the day with four tackles and two missed tackles. Dont’a Hightower, meanwhile, struggled in pass coverage, posting a 32.4 coverage grade after allowing four receptions on four targets for 57 yards, four first downs and a touchdown.
Despite Prescott’s strong day, the New England secondary actually graded out fairly well individually. Corner J.C. Jackson notched a unit-best 71.1 coverage grade, allowing four receptions on eight targets for 47 yards. He forced four incompletions and had three tackles, while corner Jalen Mills tallied six tackles but allowed 82 yards and two touchdowns in coverage.