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Cowboys aim to extend success beyond home turf

By
The Sports Xchange
Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott chargers through the Detroit Lions' defense during their game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 30, 2018. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott chargers through the Detroit Lions' defense during their game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 30, 2018. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

The Dallas Cowboys celebrated a lopsided 40-7 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday, keeping their home record perfect at 3-0.

Anyone who has watched only Dallas home games this season would view the Cowboys as a bona fide Super Bowl contender. Dallas has won its three contests inside AT&T Stadium by jumping out fast in the first half. The offense has clicked on the way to averaging 363 yards on its home turf.

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That would still only be good enough for 22nd in the NFL, but at least it would be seven spots up from their current rank of 29th.

On the flip side, anyone who has watched only Cowboys road games so far would assume the team is about ready to start angling for the No. 1 draft pick.

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Dallas (3-3) is winless on the road, but they get a chance to change that this week at Washington.

"Obviously we can do it, but it's something that we need to do," Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said after Sunday's win. "I mean, if we keep not winning on the road, we're not going to make the playoffs. We've got to go out there and look at what we did this week and how we approached the game and we've got to learn from that and we've got to carry it to next week."

Elliott rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries against Jacksonville. Add that to quarterback Dak Prescott's 82 rushing yards and the Cowboys had a very effective day running the ball in their big win.

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Prescott mixed the run and pass as well as he has since Dallas's 11-game winning streak in 2016 that led to an NFC East title. That streak included six road wins and, coincidentally started with a victory in Washington.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said during his Monday press conference that finding success on the road this season is a matter of remaining consistent.

"That's why they call it mental toughness, right?" Garrett said. "You have to be mentally tough. I keep saying this, but you have to handle success and adversity the same way. When things are going well, you've got to be mentally tough enough to do what you have to do to keep it going and similarly when you have some challenging times in whatever phase of your football team, you've just got to keep fighting."

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--QB Dak Prescott was 17 of 27 for 183 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville. He also ran the ball 11 times for 82 yards and a score.

--WR Cole Beasley had nine catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville.

--DT David Irving played for the first time this season against Jacksonville after he served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He had two tackles, including one tackle for a loss and a QB hurry.

--RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He's currently second in the NFL in rushing yards with 586, trailing the Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley by 37 yards.

--LB Leighton Vander Esch led the Cowboys with seven solo and 10 total tackles against Jacksonville on Sunday. That was the second straight game that the rookie LB has led the Cowboys' defense. Vander Esch is getting plenty of playing time with starter Sean Lee out with a hamstring injury and has made the most of it as he has 51 total tackles through six games.

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