There is much to figure out for the Dallas Cowboys, after having dropped their third consecutive game, and this time against a winless New York Jets team. The return of quarterback Sam Darnold proved destructive for the Cowboys, with the former first-round pick gashing them for most of the game en route to a 338-yard game -- the second-highest total of his young career -- along with two touchdowns to just one interception.
Some considered Darnold may have rust after missing the previous three games with mononucleosis, while others believed he was potentially being rushed back to the field. Darnold proved both wrong in the end, needless to say, flipping the script on a Cowboys defense that was focused on mostly stopping the run after giving up a career day to Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones one week prior.
It worked to a degree because All-Pro halfback Le'Veon Bell had just 50 yards rushing and only one catch for three yards total. Then again, however, the Jets didn't need him to go off against the Cowboys -- thanks to Darnold's arm.
"It's a lot different having your guy in there," Bell said, via the New York Daily News. "He's the leader of the offense. ... When you miss that for a few weeks, it's tough. ... I said he wasn't rusty in practice.
"I watched him. He's a special player."
One player who wasn't as buttoned up in his praise of Darnold was All-Pro safety Jamal Adams.
"I mean, sh--!," he exclaimed. "He did a damn good job! Obviously, we have a lot of faith in Sam. We knew that with Sam back, he was going to move the ball.
"Sam wasn't drafted in the top 5 for no reason. He's a hell of a quarterback, a hell of a leader and hell of a competitor."
The victory is especially tasty for Adams, who is a native of Carrollton, TX, just minutes northwest of downtown Dallas. The former first-round pick grew up a Cowboys fan, and getting off of a four-game slide to start the season at their expense was enough to emotionally send Adams to the moon. He took exception to the Jets being underdogs and no one giving them a chance to defeat the also win-thirsty Cowboys, but that's exactly what happened -- leaving Adams with just one thing to say.
"It's just one obviously, but it's a good one," Adams said in his post-game press conference, before getting in one final knife-twist against Dallas. "Obviously, it's my hometown. I am very excited about it. How 'bout them Cowboys?"
It's the second week in a row, and unless they figure out how to get back in the win column, they should expect more of it.