The Dallas Cowboys went 15 games without a 100-yard wide receiver. Now they face the 10th best passing defense without Ezekiel Elliott. Can Dak Prescott lead the way?
Those of us that enjoyed the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Kansas City Chiefs might remember a significant stat announced by legendary former Cowboys quarterback – Tony Romo. Last week, wide receiver Terrence Williams – aka Mr. Catch It With Your Chest (in my Kevin Hart voice) was the first Cowboys receiver to reach 100 receiving yards in 15 games.
I understand that most of Cowboy Nation has accepted the disappearance of our passing game because we’re a run first, run second and run third team. But what happens without running back Ezekiel Elliott?
When I think of wide receivers, I don’t want to include slot receiver Cole Beasley who led the Cowboys in targets (98), receptions (75) and yards (833) last year. But I’ll add him because he hasn’t been able to do much this year.
In 2016, Beasley had 10 games with 50 or more receiving yards. Defensive players and coordinators get paid too. This season, Beasley has not gained more than 35 receiving yards in a game. I guess defenses have learned how to cover our shifty weapon this season.
The occasional big play guy that makes the highlight catches drops but drops the routine stuff – wide receiver Brice Butler – has two games with 50 or more receiving yards. Last season, Butler had one 49 yard game – sorry, that means he didn’t exceed 50 yards in a game last year.
The ultimate X-factor, Dez Bryant recently announced that even without the suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott, he would be on the field. Well, Bryant hasn’t had much of an impact this season with 4 touchdowns in 8 games. Actually, he’s on pace with last year when he scored 8 touchdowns in 16 games.
In 2014, the Cowboys also had the NFL’s leading rusher with DeMarco Murray, but Dez Bryant also had four games with more than 100 receiving yards. In two of those games, Bryant exceeded
150 receiving yards. It pains me to see the Cowboys offense become one-dimensional. Head coach Jason Garrett‘s offense is named – Air Coryell – air means pass! It isn’t designed to be a run only weapon – it’s meant to be both.
Bryant hasn’t had a game with more than 8 receptions this season. I also have to add that he hasn’t passed 100 receiving yards yet either. Don’t call me psychic but I predicted this in 2015 before Bryant signed his super-mega contract. I also mentioned that the Cowboys have lowered Bryant’s expectations with quarterback Dak Prescott.
These are part of the problems with having a second year quarterback. I can’t reverse time, but there’s a reason that I’m part of Cowboy Nation that still wishes 9 (Romo) was on the field and under center. I believe we would’ve won a Lombardi trophy in 2016 had they given him his team back.
Remember the viral You-Tube video where golfer Tiger Woods hits a golf ball and Romo knocks the golf ball out of the sky with a football? Well, me neither because it never happened to my knowledge – but it shows that you too believe in the awesomeness of Romo.
In 2014, the Cowboys had the NFL’s leading rusher with DeMarco Murray, but Dez Bryant also had four games with more than 100 receiving yards. In two of those games, Bryant exceeded 150 receiving yards. Romo helped make Bryant great. Maybe it works both ways, but Romo made Miles Austin great. Romo made Patrick Crayton look great-ish. Romo’s 11 touchdown passes to Laurent Robinson helped Robinson sign a 5 year, $32.5 million dollar contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
So finally, Terrance Williams on November 5th, 2017 exceeds 100 receiving yards. The first receiver to do so since November 13th, 2016, when Dez Bryant caught 6 passes for 116 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nearly one full calendar year since our Cowboys have had a receiver exceed 100 yards.
Without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys face the Atlanta Falcons who are ranked 10th in passing defense. They are allowing 207.2 passing yards per game.
I always want the Cowboys to walk out of the building with a win, but it’s going to be tough to expect Prescott’s arm and the Cowboys passing attack to be the Falcons Kryptonite. Yet, that’s why they play the game.