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Dallas Cowboys beat Tennessee Titans in ugly affair: 4 winners and losers

The Dallas Cowboys were able to take out an injury-plagued Tennessee Titans team on the road Thursday night to keep their NFC East hopes alive.

It did not come easy for Dallas with Dak Prescott committing three first-half turnovers. But when all was said and done, Tennessee couldn’t ride its third-string quarterback to a win.

Dallas came out on top by the score of 27-13 to put more pressure on the Philadelphia Eagles heading into New Year’s Day. Below, we look at four winners and losers from this ugly outing.

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Winner: Dallas Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb continues elite recent play

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans
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After struggling earlier in the campaign, this third-year receiver has looked like a true WR1 in recent weeks. Lamb entered Thursday night’s action having caught 17-of-18 targets for 246 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games.

Dallas needs Lamb to continue playing at this level if it is going to go far in the NFL Playoffs. Taking on a bad Titans secondary in Week 17, that’s exactly what the Oklahoma product did by hauling in 11-of-14 targets for 101 yards. He also drew multiple pass interference and holding penalties that extended drives.

With Dak Prescott struggling to an extent over the past several weeks, he’s honed in on Lamb big time. That included the veteran posting a 102.9 QB rating when targeting his top guy heading into Week 17. Things didn’t change in Nashville.

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Loser: Tennessee Titans pass rush

dallas cowboys at tennessee titans
Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s no surprise that the Titans couldn’t put much pressure on Prescott with star edge rushers Harold Landry and Bud Dupree sidelined to injury. With that said, pressure would have helped a greenish secondary overcome the likes of the aforementioned Lamb and others. It did not happen.

All said, Prescott was hit just four times and sacked once. Teair Tart and DeMarcus Walker were the only defenders to put some pressure on the signal caller. This has to change Week 18 against Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars if Tennessee is going to earn the AFC South title.

Related: Tennessee Titans QB options for 2023

Winner: Joshua Dobbs puts up amazing performance

dallas cowboys at tennessee titans winners losers
Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

A fourth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2017, Dobbs made his first NFL regular-season start Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys on primetime. He just landed with Tennessee from the Detroit Lions’ practice squad a week earlier. The Tennessee Volunteers product had spent time with four different teams while throwing all of 17 passes during his career.

Would Dobbs prove to be in over his head with Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve and Malik Willis riding the pine? The answer to this question was a resounding no. The journeyman completed 22-of-39 passes for 232 yards with his first career touchdown pass.

Dobbs showed his arm down the field. He displayed a ton of accuracy throughout the evening. We now have to wonder whether Dobbs will actually get the start for the Tennessee Titans in a do-or-die outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18.

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Loser: Dak Prescott’s turnover-prone ways continued for the Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a stellar outing in Dallas’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, Prescott has proven himself to be turnover prone over the past several weeks. In fact, he had committed a giveaway in each of the past five games with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions during that span.

The first half of Thursday’s game saw Prescott throw two interceptions and lose a fumble as he helped Tennessee keep this one close. It wasn’t enough for the Titans to pull off the huge home upset, but it has to be of concern for Cowboys fans moving forward.

Since Week 12, Prescott has accounted for 14 total touchdowns compared to 11 turnovers. It might work against an injury-plagued and average team. It most certainly won’t work in the NFL Playoffs.