ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys beat the San Francisco 49ers in the 1992 NFC Championship Game, then-coach Jimmy Johnson let loose with a saying that has carried on for a generation of fans:
How ‘bout them Cowboys.
After receiving his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at halftime here on Monday, Johnson reprised his famous saying, much to the delight of Cowboys fans.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, playing in his first game at AT&T Stadium since suffering a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in October, completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
"That was fun," Prescott said. "I think that shows just the brotherhood that we’re creating and the culture we’re creating within this team. That’s just one and that’s a step and that was a big step and a building block of where we’re going and what we’re trying to accomplish."
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 95 yards and had two rushing touchdowns in the first half for the second time in the past four seasons. It is the seventh time in nine games Elliott has had at least 95 yards rushing against the Eagles. His backup, Tony Pollard, had 60 yards on 11 carries a week after running for 109 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Cowboys' defense came up with two takeaways, including a 59-yard interception returned for a touchdown by cornerback Trevon Diggs on the third play of the second half to up the Cowboys’ lead to 20 points.
In the first half, the Cowboys allowed three first downs and 121 yards.
Diggs’ pick-six was the Cowboys’ first since 2017, ending the second-longest drought in the NFL. It was the Cowboys’ eighth takeaway in three games. How different is this defense? The Cowboys did not record their eighth takeaway until the 10th game in 2020.
With it all, the Cowboys are above .500 for the first time in coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure at 2-1. It’s the first time since Week 12 of the 2019 season the Cowboys have been above .500 (6-5 after a loss to the New England Patriots) and the first time a McCarthy-led team has been above .500 since Oct. 15, 2018, when the Green Bay Packers beat San Francisco to improve to 3-2-1.
"You beat a division opponent by two-plus scores, it’s a good win," McCarthy said.
Buy Trevon Diggs: The second-year cornerback has lined up against Mike Evans, Keenan Allen and DeVonta Smith, and Diggs has more than held his own. With his third-quarter interception on Monday, he became the first Cowboy to record a pick in each of the first three games of a season since Everson Walls in 1985. In three games against the Eagles in his career, Diggs has four interceptions. Oh, and with his touchdown, he tied his brother, Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, in TDs so far this season.
Promising trend: The Cowboys opened with a touchdown on their first possession for the second straight week. They had gone 20 games without a touchdown on their opening possession, and now they have a streak for the first time since Weeks 13 and 14 in 2019. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore interviewed for the Eagles' head-coaching vacancy in the winter; he showed them what could have been with his playcalling on Monday.