Dallas Cowboys: The Four Quarters (Week 9 Edition)

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Just as quickly as the Cowboys get over the .500 hump, they put themselves right back.  The teeter-totter that is this team failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity last week by snatching a loss from the jaws of victory.  Sixty-two seconds and any semblance of defense and the Cowboys go back home with a winnable game 5-3.  Instead, Dallas once again not only finds a way to lose, but they also do so in such a wild way that is becoming disgustingly all to familiar.

Week 9 sends the Cowboys back home for a game before another two on the road.  With a struggling 1-6 Minnesota Vikings in the building, a win is paramount.  Historically, these are the kinds of games Dallas wins, but you can never really feel confident about your chances after a loss like last week.   Here is this week’s edition of the Four Quarters that will highlight the ways that Dallas can back over .500 and avoid truly letting this season slip out of the grasp.

FIRST QUARTER
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…

I have a lot of respect for Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier.  To get his team into the playoffs last year was nothing short of miraculous.  The smoke and mirrors trick has definitely caught up to him this year though as the Vikings are pretty bad offensively, mostly due to their quarterback situation.  There is an adage in the NFL that basically says if you have more than one quarterback, you really have none.  Minnesota has three (and that’s using the term quarterback very loosely).  Each one does something sort of good but mostly all three are below average in all facets.  To this end, Frazier played the shell game all week and did not name a starter until Friday afternoon when he tabbed Ponder for the job.  Just another parlor trick to try anything to exhibit some kind of success.

Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers defeated the Vikings 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder is the quarterback with the most opportunity (121 attempts, 52 more than the next guy) so far.  He brings the threat of the run alive but not much else as he is barely above 60% in his completion percentage, has only two touchdowns passing and leads the team with five interceptions… or one every  24 attempts.  Matt Cassel is responsible for the Vikings lone win, has the best passer rating and completion percentage and represents the closest thing to a “quarterback” they have.  He also is no threat to run which isn’t exactly good for a team that has the 23rd best pass blocking offensive line.  Josh Freeman is… well, if you saw the Monday Night Football game against a winless Giants team, the film would speak for itself.  Dallas MUST exploit the lack of a viable threat at this most important position and make sure they do not get beat by the Vikings meager passing game.

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