Instant Analysis: Cowboys v. 49ers

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 40-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium:

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys returned to .500 with their most impressive performance of the season. They dominated on offense and defense and made plays on special teams. This is the Cowboys’ team we’ve waited all season to see.

TURNING POINT: It’s hard to find a turning point in 30-point win, but when Kavon Frazier forced a fumble and Xavier Woods recovered it after punting on their first possession, it set Dallas up for a quick touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The worst thing you can do is give a winless team like San Francisco confidence. The early lead kept that from happening.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: This is the Ezekiel Elliott we’ve been looking for all season. He gained a season-high 147 yards on 26 carries with a couple of touchdowns, and he added a 72-yard touchdown on a screen pass. He was explosive, powerful and everything we saw last year that made him one of the best players in the NFL.

KEY STAT: The Cowboys, who entered the game without a turnover in 213 snaps, forced a season-high three turnovers and had another apparent interception negated by a penalty. You get turnovers, you win games in the NFL. Dallas had only four turnovers entering the game.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will travel to Washington for an important NFC East game and a chance to move over .500 before we learn Ezekiel Elliott fate for the rest of the season. Even if Elliott has to serve his six-game suspension, it’s a lot easier to hold the fort and make the playoffs at 4-3 than 3-4.

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