In back to back weeks, the Dallas Cowboys have blown double-digit halftime leads. A suspect defense and a costly turnover once again doomed the Cowboys.
Second-year stud quarterback Dak Prescott had a huge game in a duel against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but it wasn’t enough as the Dallas Cowboys fell to 2-3 going into the bye week. If the Cowboys are going to win the NFC East or even sneak in with a wild card birth, someone other than Dak needs to step up.
It’s difficult to pin point what’s wrong with the Cowboys as they have already matched last year’s season loss total when they went 13-3. It’s difficult because there’s so much that just doesn’t seem right. The scary thing is the ‘Boys had control of both games against the Rams and the Packers and let both slip away.
I’ve seen and heard plenty of analysts already dubbing Prescott’s season as a ‘sophomore slump’ even though I believe the quarterback is the only reason the team has won two games. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year has tallied 13 total touchdowns and is holding a quarterback rating of 93.1, which is down from last year but hardly a slump.
Don’t get me wrong, he has missed some throws this season and has tossed four interceptions, but two of those were tipped by his receivers straight into the defender’s hands.
All year he’s been extending drives with his legs and making clutch throws. But aside from him, there’s been a funk on the entire offense that has prevented them from playing at the elite status they were at last year.
The offensive line has struggled to protect Dak and open holes for running back Ezekiel Elliott, and the receivers have had a tough time getting open. Dak and All-Pro wide out Dez Bryant‘s chemistry has been off, and defenses for the most part have taken away slot receiver Cole Beasley.
Dallas’ first down troubles have hurt them all year, and that’s mainly due to the run game being inconsistent. In the first five weeks of the year, Zeke is averaging less that four yards per carry. In other words, the bread and butter of the Dallas Cowboys offense has become very average.
But as frustrating as the offense has been, the defense has by far been the weakest component of this team.
The pass rush that was there in the first three weeks, courtesy of Demarcus Lawrence, has been non-existent the last two losses. But it has been the inability to stop the run and get off the field on third down that has killed this unit.
This is a young defense that saw many starters walk last season, but the defense last year prided itself on stopping the run.
That has not happened this season so far.
In each of the losses, the defense was gashed by the opposing teams’ running backs. The Denver Broncos, L.A. Rams, and Green Bay Packers all torched the defense for at least 160 total rush yards.
The defense has not been able to make the opposing offense one-dimensional, and that’s a big reason why they have lost back to back close games at home.
That along with missed tackles, inexperience, injuries, missed assignments, etc., the defense as a unit has just not been good enough to win football games.