ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Amari Cooper before running for another score, and the Dallas Cowboys pulled out of a first-half funk as huge favorites in a 31-6 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
One of Prescott’s TD tosses to Cooper came before halftime, but the Dolphins had a great chance to lead at the break as 22-point underdogs when Kenyan Drake fumbled on first down from the Dallas 7-yard line in the final minute of the second quarter. DeMarcus Lawrence recovered to preserve a 10-6 lead.
Josh Rosen was 18 of 29 for 200 yards without a touchdown or interception in his first start for Miami, which went with him over Ryan Fitzpatrick after getting outscored 102-10. No team since 1961 had a worse point differential through two games.
The rebuilding Dolphins are 0-3 for the first time since losing their first seven in 2011. They have been outscored 133-16, the largest point differential through three games in the league history since 1950.
Prescott fueled the first Dallas team in 41 years to win its first two games while rolling up at least 400 yards and at least 30 points each time. And while the Cowboys reached 3-0 for the first time since 2008, it took them awhile to find that offensive form.
The second touchdown to Cooper was a 19-yarder that capped a 75-yard drive to open the second half, and came after a 74-yard TD toss to Randall Cobb was nullified by offsetting penalties.
Prescott ran 8 yards to cap the second straight TD drive to open the second half, pulling him within one of Roger Staubach’s career club record of 20 rushing touchdowns in just his fourth season. Prescott was 19 of 32 for 246 yards with an interception, and Cooper had six catches for 88 yards.
Ezekiel Elliott had his second straight 100-yard game after missing the entire preseason holding out for the $90 million extension he signed the day of the first full workout before the regular season.
Rookie Tony Pollard, who became the top option behind Elliott while the two-time rushing champion was gone, had his first 100-yard day (103), clinching it on a 16-yard run for his first touchdown.
The Dolphins outgained the Cowboys in the first half (216-204), but still have just one touchdown in three games after settling for two field goals from Jason Sanders in four trips inside the Dallas 30 before halftime.
Just before Drake’s fumble, DeVante Parker dropped a throw that he easily could have turned into a touchdown. Parker earlier had a one-handed grab on a drive that ended in a 47-yard miss by Sanders.
QUINN’S DALLAS DEBUT
Robert Quinn recorded a sack in his debut for Dallas after an offseason trade from Miami and a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.
During his one season with the Dolphins and in previous years with the Rams, Quinn raised his fist during the national anthem to protest police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality. Colin Kaepernick sparked the debate in 2016 by kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
In keeping with what he had already done in two home preseason games, Quinn didn’t raise his fist during the anthem before facing the Dolphins.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been outspoken against such protests. Two years ago, he was the first owner to say he would bench a player for protesting during the anthem.
TACO SWITCHES SIDES
Taco Charlton sacked Prescott in the third quarter after being activating by the Dolphins just three days after they claimed the defensive end on waivers, which was a day after the Cowboys dumped their underachieving 2017 first-round pick.
Charlton had four sacks in 27 games over two seasons for Dallas. He was a healthy scratch the first two weeks with the Cowboys, who waived him to make room for Quinn.
ANOTHER SCARE FOR HURNS
Miami receiver Allen Hurns had to be taken off the field after a jarring play at the home of the Cowboys, just as he did in the playoffs last season when he broke his ankle on a gruesome-looking play against Seattle when he played for Dallas. A woozy Hurns left the field on his own, but was ruled out with a concussion.
Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, still looking for his first interception after tying for the NFL lead with seven last season, was ejected in the fourth quarter following a personal-foul penalty.
Dolphins: LA Chargers at home next Sunday.
Cowboys: At New Orleans next Sunday.