Dallas Cowboys manhandled by the Los Angeles Rams

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys‘ season came to an end against the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys were soft on offense and even weaker on defense. So what went wrong?

The storyline of the embarrassing performance in the Dallas Cowboys‘ loss was how Dallas’ running game and defense could not get anything going against the Los Angeles Rams. In no way did the Dallas look like the better team. Let’s start on the defense.

The defensive line was bullied by the Rams’ offensive line. Defensive tackles Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins were doubled in power-runs, and the tight end and right tackle would double defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence on passing downs. The Cowboys’ front seven were just dominated. The “Hot Boyz” were not so hot.

Dallas could not stop the Rams’ running attack. Coming into the game, the Cowboys only allowed 93.3 rushing yards per game. The Rams had 170 rushing yards in the first half alone. And it was not just Rams’ running back, Todd Gurley having success– though he did eclipse 100 rushing yards on only 16 carries.

But, Los Angeles’ newly acquired running back, C.J. Anderson ran for a surprising 123 yards on 23 attempts! Linebackers, Leighton Vander Esch (four tackles), Jaylon Smith (nine tackles), and Sean Lee (seven tackles) struggled in controlling their gaps and fighting off blocks.

The strong running game set the Rams up well for passing plays. Rams’ head coach, Sean Mcvay, put his team in excellent positions, allowing quarterback Jared Goff to complete key passes to wide open receivers. The Rams had all their receivers in bunch sets, close to the tackles.

So the Rams were able to disguise their play-action plays and make throws downfield against the Cowboys’ secondary. Los Angeles failed to score points on only three of their drives- a missed field goal, a punt, and a kneel down to end the game. Dallas’ defense could not get off the field.

The Cowboys’ offense did not help them in that regard either. Running back Ezekiel Elliott only managed to gain 47 yards on 20 carries. He was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on what seems like every play. And the Cowboys could not get their running game going as the offense stalled out.

Though the Rams’ star defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, did not take over the game, they still held the offense in check. Early in the game, quarterback Dak Prescott threw a strike to receiver Amari Cooper for a catch and touchdown. But after that they could not move the chains. Until near the end of the game, when Prescott lead the team down the field for a score, the offense was as pathetic as the defense.

If you just looked at Prescott’s stats: 20 completions on 32 attempts, 266 yards, one rushing and passing touchdown, and a 99.2 quarterback rating. Dak played a good game. But, on crucial third downs, he could not connect with his receivers. Overall, the Cowboys converted only one third down on 10 tries.

It was not pretty or even fun to watch. But the one piece of optimism to take from the loss was the rookie receiver, Michael Gallup. For the first time in his career, Gallup eclipsed 100 receiving yards. On a first down and 20 to go, Prescott escaped the pocket and tossed a 44-yard dime to the rookie. Gallup played his best game of the season. It is just a shame it did not have an impact in the win-loss column.

dark. Next. The top 10 Dallas Cowboys to never win a Super Bowl

There’s always next year. Sadly, this phrase is too often used by Cowboys Nation. However, the team is young, and there is a lot of reasons to be optimistic. If the Cowboys can change some things in the offseason, they might be right in the hunt for the Lombardi trophy.

What are your thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys’ loss? What are some changes you hope Dallas will make in the offseason? Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section below!