The Dallas Cowboys failed to generate much offense without several star players in the lineup, losing to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, 27-7.
Without the threat of Elliott in the backfield, who was serving the first of a six-game suspension for suspect domestic violence, the Atlanta Falcons teed off against the Cowboys offense, sacking quarterback Dak Prescott a whopping eight times. Without All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith in the game, who was out due to both back and groin injuries, the entire left side of Dallas’ offensive line crumbled.
The poor combination of left guard Jonathan Cooper and left tackle Chaz Green allowed Falcon defensive end Adrian Clayborn to rack up an incredible 6.0 sacks in the game. That’s nearly more than his season-high of 7.5 sacks the seventh year pro recorded as a rookie back in 2011.
While both Green and back-up left tackle Byron Bell were being beat by Clayborn on nearly every snap, Cooper had several holding penalties to boot. It was the worst performance by these Cowboy offensive lineman in recent memory.
Scrambling for his life, Prescott finished the day completing 20 of his 30 passes for 176 yards. Dak also had 42 rushing yards and a touchdown on six carries. Veteran running back Alfred Morris racked up 53 yards on the ground on 11 carries. Tight end Jason Witten would lead the Cowboys with seven catches for 59 yards.
The Cowboys defense came out strong, with a Xavier Woods interception early in the Falcons’ first offensive series. That led to Dallas’ only score of the game. But the Cowboys lack of offense ultimately hurt their defensive effort, as Atlanta won in time of possession. (32:06 – 27:54)
And the fact Dallas lost linebacker Sean Lee to a hamstring injury early in this game also hurt their effectiveness. Safety Byron Jones had a combined nine tackles, while linebacker Anthony Hitchens recorded 10. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence also recorded the team’s lone sack of the game, raising his total to 11.5 sacks on the season.
The 5-4 Dallas Cowboys will now head back to Texas, as their next three games will be at home in AT&T Stadium. They will have a must “win” primetime divisional matchup next Sunday night, November 19th, against the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off their bye week.