As the Baltimore Ravens ran through the Dallas Cowboys’ defense early during Sunday’s game at AT&T Stadium, they kept throwing up the X and going through that “feed me’’ motion.
That was a direct ode to Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who often throws up the X after he makes a big play. And to rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who, following a big run or catch, puts his hand in a motion as if to ask the coaching staff to continue feeding him the ball.
Since the Ravens had basically shut down both Bryant and Elliott early in the game, they took time to mimic the Cowboys’ one-two punch.
“I guess you look at it as a compliment, but at the same time we don’t focus on that,’’ Bryant said. “It’s no retaliation nowhere.
“We’re just focusing on us. We just want to play our game and go out there and execute on each and every drive.’’
Following their slow start against the NFL’s top defense, the Cowboys scored all 27 of their points on their final five possessions on the way to a 27-17 win in front of a sellout crowd of 93,056. It was the ninth consecutive win for the Cowboys – the first time they’ve won this many games in a row in one season in franchise history.
“One thing we do a good job of is when something doesn’t go right, that doesn’t mean go over there and panic,’’ Bryant said. “Just go adjust, and that’s what we do and we make things happen.’’
That strategy certainly held true for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who shook off a slow start -- it included three consecutive errant passes – to punch several holes through the Ravens’ stout defense.
Prescott started out completing four of 10 passes for 31 yards, and finished 27 of 36 for 301 yards and three touchdowns. That came a week after Prescott passed for 319 yards and a pair of touchdowns during a 35-30 win at Pittsburgh.
“Like I said before, the guy is amazing,’’ Bryant said of Prescott. “We’re going to follow that guy, we’re going to continue to keep following that guy.
“I wouldn’t say he had a bad quarter, because he didn’t. The way that he adjusted and the way he handled his business it says a lot about him.’’
It also says a lot about Bryant the way he handled his business. One day after attending his father’s funeral in Lufkin, Bryant regrouped and had six catches Sunday for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
This was the first time Bryant had two touchdown receptions in the same game since he caught a pair of TDs in the 2014 regular season finale against the Washington Redskins.
“Been a challenging week for him and he’s done a great job maintaining his focus come Sunday afternoon,’’ coach Jason Garrett said. “He made some big plays in the game for us.
“When we leave him out there by himself there are not many guys in this league who can guard him.’’
There also aren’t many games where the Cowboys — or any team for that matter — can churn out 417 yards against the best defense the NFL has to offer. But that’s what the Cowboys (9-1) did.
It was the eighth straight game the Cowboys have accumulated at least 400 yards of total offense. That ties the NFL single-season record set by New England in 2007 and tied by Denver in 2013.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who give a damn about one another and love to see each other succeed,’’ Bryant said. “When you’ve got that, everybody is going to smile, everybody is ready to go, everybody wants to play.
“That’s what’s going on around here and we’re going to keep it that way.’’