After some recent disappointments, Rochdale manager Steve Parkin was ecstatic after this rout of promotion-chasing Mansfield.
"I asked for commitment and got it," said Parkin.
"From the start I knew we were going to win and we could have won by an even greater margin.
"Their goalkeeper made one or two great stops and on another day we could have had half a dozen goals." Mansfield seldom got a grip on the game, but for a short time after the interval their rearranged ranks gave Rochdale goalkeeper Neil Edwards plenty to think about.
The revival ended when Leo Bertos crashed a free-kick into the back of the Mansfield net with 53 minutes gone. That made it 3-0 and the Stags were left without any hope.
Their troubles started early on when Gary Jones blasted a penalty home after visiting goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington brought down Paul Connor and earned himself a booking.
Dale then took complete control, with Connor getting the second after 27 minutes.
Connor cashed in on a corner kick to which Mansfield offered inadequate cover, firing home when left unmarked at the far post.
The Stags seldom troubled the home defence and their disappointed manager, Keith Curle, admitted: "Our goalkeeper saved us from something worse.
"I am disappointed to say the least. We never used the ball wisely when we had it."