Dallas Cowboys: Where has the magic gone?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Following a 35-30 defeat, the Dallas Cowboys stand at 2-2 with little to no magic left in the tank. Is the magical run over, or can the Boys turn it around?

With a quarter of the NFL season in the books, the Dallas Cowboys are a team with an identity crisis.

This isn’t the same 2016 squad. Ingredients are tested and mixed around during the offseason. New formulas are developed to accommodate the growing pillars on the team.

This transition is called growth.

And losing to the Los Angeles Rams, 35-30, in a game that was in favor of the Cowboys most of the time, is part of that growth period.

Sadly, though, I think it’s safe to say that the magical formula that propelled the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 and 2016 is in shortage. Is this a time to panic?

No. But in some respects, it’s better to chase the future (read: trophy) than it is to chase yesterday. There’s no question that with growth comes pain.

The Cowboys still have the canons to fire all cylinders. But for some reason they’ve chosen a route that cancels the magic out. In other words, and read closely here, the Cowboys are exactly where I thought they’d be 25 percent into the season.

See, I had the Boys dead at 2-2 right now. I saw them thumping the Giants in the opener, losing to those feisty Broncos in Denver, falling to the Cardinals and then finally handling the Rams at home.

I flip-flopped the Cardinals and Rams games, but nonetheless, the Cowboys are true at 2-2. The Dallas Cowboys don’t have tickets to the 2016 magic train any longer. They won’t end the season with a 13-3 record.

Sure, the same playmakers and troublemakers — along with some new faces, looking at you DeMarcus Lawrence — are still in Big D. But this 2017 team hasn’t even touched the ceiling yet, and that could be looked at as a good and bad thing.

This Dallas Cowboys team is full of talent. Unfortunately, there’s no denying that the talent thus far has gone to waste. You can blame the coaching, the chemistry, the distractions or opponents or whatever.

The ingredients are there; it’s the recipe that is all wrong here. Regardless, the talent and potential on this team has not met expectations four games into the season. And, it’s not even close.

Going 2-2, considering this type of schedule, isn’t the part that bothers me. The part that irks most is the way that Dallas wins and loses. First, the victory over the Giants wasn’t impressive at all, if we are being honest.

The Denver Broncos annihilated quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. The defense exposed the Cowboys’ best assets, and head coach Jason Garrett looked like someone who couldn’t adjust to the firepower.

The Arizona Cardinals game was a toss-up. The Boys did show a good game, but again, they didn’t show the true rampage that they truly harness.

And finally, the Rams basically wrote up how to best adjust at half-time. They executed the plan so well that they may sell the blueprint to other teams.

Next: The Dallas Cowboys need a new defensive coordinator

To sum it up, this isn’t a time of panic — not yet anyways. But the Cowboys, who are low on magic as of late, must find the winning ingredients soon considering they play top flight teams (Packers, Redskins, Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles) in the next six weeks.

The ingredients are all there, if only someone can figure out the recipe before things start to really slide.