This shocking stat about the Dallas Cowboys second half struggles points directly at a lack of proper halftime adjustments and coaching woes.
Coming off a stellar 2016 regular season, that saw the Dallas Cowboys go on an 11-game winning streak and finish the season 13-3, this new year has had an underwhelming start.
With a tough first place schedule to face and more tape on the Cowboys two brightest stars, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, for opposing defensive coordinators to study, Dallas always faced an uphill battle this season. No one truly expected them to replicate their success from 2016.
But I’m not sure anyone thought it would be this bad either. Especially considering Elliott has been eligible to play through the first five games of the season and beyond.
Yet, here the Cowboys are. Entering Week Seven to face a winless San Francisco 49ers team, sitting third in the NFC East with a 2-3 record. And their about to face a Niners’ team Dallas would have undoubtedly destroyed last season, now having a bit of trepidation about it being a trap game and suddenly becoming a “must” win to save their sinking season. How did we get here?
If the Cowboys are defeated by the 49ers Sunday, what does that say about the team? And their season? Where did it all go wrong?
For many, the answer seems to squarely sit on the shoulders of the men who coach the team. Those men being offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and head coach Jason Garrett.
After last season’s success, all three were praised for their efforts. Garrett came away with the NFL Coach of the Year award. And both Linehan and Marinelli receive undisclosed contract extensions.
Now, five games into the 2017 regular season, and it appears their efforts could, in large part, be the reason America’s Team is once again sinking into a sea of mediocrity.
"“Killer stats of the week: the Cowboys defensively have allowed opponents to convert 3rd-and 10 or more yards, 27 percent of the time,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus on the team’s official website recently. “Offensively, they’ve yet to score points on their first possession of the second half. That currently puts them 30th in the NFL.”"
The defensive stat can be directly tied to injuries on that side of the ball plus a lack of talent. Yet, Marinelli chouldn’t come away blameless. But the lack of points coming out of halftime is a direct link to the Cowboys coaches and their terrible adjustments.
Obviously, it can also be argued that players themselves have to execute. But a coach’s adjustments coming out of halftime are critical and set the tone for the rest of the contest. A coach’s impact on the game is likely never felt more than when the team starts the third quarter. And if said team fails to score coming out of halftime, that points more directly at a poor effort by the coaching staff than at almost any other time.
So here’s a stat that should scare all Cowboy fans. Dallas has gone scoreless in the third quarter in four out of their five games so far. That fact is, it’s not just the Cowboys players that need to pick up their game to pull them out of this 2-3 slump, it’s on the coaching staff as well.