Cowboys score vs. Bengals, takeaway: Cooper Rush beats Jobrow to lead Dallas to thrilling Week 2 victory

The Dallas Cowboys narrowly beat the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, with Brett Maher hitting a winning 50-yard field goal with seconds left in the fourth quarter to win 20-17. With Dak Prescott out with a thumb injury, Cooper Rush designed six 33-yard drives with less than a minute left to get Maher’s game-winning boot.

Rush proved to be an effective game manager as he completed 19 of 31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. Noah Brown was his favorite target, catching five passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. While the Cowboys dominated the first three quarters, the Bengals nearly made an incredible comeback.

Cincinnati’s first touchdown of the game came at a crunch time. Late in the fourth quarter, Joe Burrow led the offense from 83 yards and tied the game with 17 points in 19 games with a touchdown pass to Tee Higgins and a two-point conversion to Tyler Boyd. The Bengals had a chance to engineer a game-winning drive on their next possession, but it turned out to be a three-in-one out and created a chance for Rush to claim glory — and he capitalized on that.

Let’s take a deeper look at what’s going on with Big D.

why the Cowboys won

The Cowboys were the only team in the NFL without a touchdown in Week 1, but the offense was 2 in the first half on Sunday. Dallas struck quickly in the opening game, with Rush leading an impressive 12-game drive for a 75-yard drive that ended with a Brown touchdown. After the Bengals field goal, Rush led another touchdown drive — sparked by an impressive 47-yard catch-and-run by Tony Pollard. The game was initially ruled a touchdown, but officials overturned the result and placed the ball on the 1-yard line. Dallas decided to reward Pollard for his effort, scoring his second score of the game from the goal line. The Cowboys outscored the Bengals for 84 yards in the first half with 227 yards.

The Cowboys’ strong offensive start was one reason for Dallas’ victory on Sunday, but it wasn’t the main reason. The Cowboys won the game because of their tenacious passing and the six sacks they created. Burrow didn’t get much opportunity to look back, he never found a rhythm three-quarters of the way and a couple of sacks put the offense behind the eight. Micah Parsons and the defense want this team to win.

Why the Bengals lost

The Bengals know they have to fix their offensive line this offseason. While they’ve added several good-looking players in center Ted Karras, right guard Alex Cappa and right tackle La’el Collins, the offensive line hasn’t gotten any better than last year. Heading into Sunday, the Bengals had seven or more sacks in three of their final four games, including the playoffs. The offensive line has been under 10-plus point pressure each of the past four games, and Sunday was no exception.

Burrow was fired six times, and Collins, the former Cowboys-turned Bengals right tackle, was accused by fans on social media of being a double agent for battling former teammate Parsons and repeatedly miscalling free throws.

That’s the story of the game, and it’s a major cause for concern when it comes to the Bengals’ cap this season. The Bengals had some issues to correct after falling 2-0. Seven NFL teams started 0-2 last season, but none made the 14-team playoffs.

turning point

It felt like we were going to work overtime. No disrespect to Rush, but the Cowboys had less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and were operating at their own 35-yard line. However, that didn’t upset the quarterback. Rush found Brown for 12 yards in the second, then hit CeeDee Lamb for 10 yards in the next. Those two completions put Dallas on a game-winning field goal.


Cowboys fans have been calling for more contact from Tony Pollard — and they should. The game set the stage for the Cowboys’ second touchdown. Pollard has not only shown impressive vision in finding open spots, but has also exploded around the edge and sideline.

what’s next

The Cowboys hit the road for the first time of the season next week as they visit the undefeated New York Giants for Monday Night Football. As for the Bengals, they head to New Jersey next Sunday to face the 1-1 Jets, who upset the Cleveland Browns earlier today.

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