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Instant analysis: Ravens beat Cowboys, 34-17, to halt three-game skid

Here’s what The Baltimore Sun staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 34-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night:

C.J. Doon, editor: A game that got off to an inauspicious start with Dez Bryant’s positive COVID-19 test remained tense early, with Dallas moving the ball at ease through the air in taking a 10-7 lead. The Ravens responded behind their talisman Lamar Jackson, who showed flashes of his Most Valuable Player form by eluding tacklers for big gains and hitting Marquise Brown for a beautiful 20-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. He seemed to be having fun out on the field for the first time in a while. The pass rush was sorely lacking, but a Ravens team with Jackson playing at his best is a scary thought for other AFC playoff contenders.

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Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: The Ravens didn’t put forth a great showing against the Cowboys with several starters, including Lamar Jackson, back from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but a win is a win, and the Ravens desperately needed one to stay in contention for a wild-card spot. Their play might just be good enough to get them into playoffs with games against the Bengals, Giants and the Jaguars remaining. We’ll see if it’s good enough to beat the Cleveland Browns next Monday night.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter: This wasn’t necessarily the Ravens defense most expected, not with Andy Dalton in control for Dallas. But this was the Ravens offense that fans had longed to see: dominant, run-heavy, imposing its will at the line of scrimmage, a handful of playmakers giving the Cowboys headaches in the open field. Cleveland will be a much tougher test Monday night, and the Ravens can’t be lulled into a false sense of security. But considering everything they’ve gone through, this was an impressive and necessary performance.

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Childs Walker, reporter: Sometimes, you just have to play the right opponent. After three straight losses and a COVID-19 outbreak, the Ravens could not have asked for a better matchup than the Cowboys, who had no hope of stopping their running game. The Ravens made several mistakes — a fumbled snap, a 66-yard kickoff return allowed, a missed field-goal attempt by Justin Tucker, a sailed third-down throw by Lamar Jackson — that might have done them in against a better team. But the Cowboys could not convert scoring opportunities and could not stop the Ravens from rumbling up and down the field. Jackson looked none the worse for wear after 10 days on the reserve/COVID-19 list, toying with defenders as he improvised a series of brilliant scrambles. He was less sharp as a passer but did find Marquise Brown on a lovely touchdown throw in the corner of the end zone. The Ravens have to be alarmed that they could not get to Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton. Their pass rush has gone quiet over the past six games, and that could bode poorly for their impending Monday night showdown with the Cleveland Browns.

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