This season is starting to have a 2015 feel to it. There’s plenty of football left, but it seems the Dallas Cowboys coaches can’t adjust with starters out.
Where to even start? Another week without All-Pro starters Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, and Dan Bailey led to another embarrassing loss for America’s Team. The Dallas Cowboys put up a good fight for the first half and even lead 9-7, but little to no halftime adjustments doomed the team in the end.
It almost seemed like a repeat of last week against the Atlanta Falcons. The ‘Boys started off strong in that game as well but just like that game, eventually faded out by going scoreless in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles.
This team is too talented to be getting blown out in back to back games. The players obviously are the ones suited up on the field, but most of the criticism has to be placed on the shoulders of the coaches.
The defense is a mess without Sean Lee. It’s crazy to think how valuable one man is to this unit, but the Cowboys have not won a game where Sean Lee wasn’t on the field. Two of those games were extremely close, but lately the defense can’t seem to stop anyone.
That looks extremely bad for any defensive coordinator, especially one known for demanding consistency and hustle like Rod Marinelli. Marinelli has tons of young talent like rookie defensive backs Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis plus dominant pass rushers DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving. Yet the defense can’t put a full consistent effort for four quarters.
The Eagles were able to keep moving the chains on third downs, broke huge runs, and nobody was capable of bringing down Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. All in the absence of Sean Lee.
It’s a head scratcher.
But as bad as the defense has been without Lee, the offense may be the most worrisome. Mainly because this squad is supposed to be the class of the league, but without Zeke and Tyron, the ‘Boys have mustered only one touchdown the last two games.
And that one touchdown came from an extremely short field due to a Cowboys’ interception of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and head coach Jason Garrett need to be held accountable for the sputter in the offense. The play calling has been questionable at best, and second year man Dak Prescott isn’t getting help from anyone.
The offense still has two All-Pro lineman in Zack Martin and Travis Frederick, yet Dak is still running for his life. They still have a healthy receiving corps but that unit rarely has a player that goes over 100 receiving yards in a game. Backup running back Alfred Morris has played decent, but he’s not being utilized like the guy he was who had three straight 1000-yard seasons with the Washington Redskins.
All of this has to fall on the coaching staff.
Coach Garrett has already generated three straight mediocre 8-8 seasons from 2011-2013 then had a huge drop off in 2015 when the team went 4-12 when they lost former quarterback Tony Romo. Garrett has also failed to go deep in the playoffs when his teams have actually gotten there, but when starters start dropping it seems like he can’t get his team to compete.
That’s a problem.
Make no mistake, the Cowboys still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball but the coaching staff cannot seem to get anything to work. With back to back blowout losses, it may be time for general manager Jerry Jones to start scouting some replacements.