The Dallas Cowboys were able to secure a victory on Sunday in Detroit. Even with the win though, there are several areas of concern that need addressing.
The Dallas Cowboys needed a win on Sunday in the worst way, especially after dropping a tough one at home last week against an NFC contender like the Minnesota Vikings. They obviously were well aware of that fact, although it wasn’t extremely clear at all times against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
While the Cowboys did enough to win the game in the end, there are still areas that should concern you if you support, follow, or are in any way invested in the success of this team. Here they are.
The first area that should concern you is the play of the defense. While the defense had their moments, they still allowed way too many points.
When you consider the fact that this Cowboys team was facing a backup in Jeff Driskel, although a very good backup based on what he was able to get done against Dallas on Sunday, they shouldn’t have allowed the game to finish as close as it did. Outside of the 27 points they allowed to a backup quarterback led team, there was a huge 30 plus yard pass given up to Kenny Golladay of the Lions in the waning moments of the game.
Although the Lions were not able to capitalize on the big play, it was a big play in crunch time that could have led to something bad for the Cowboys, such as a second consecutive defeat. There was also something else that didn’t sit too well with me.
The Dallas Cowboys’ running game was poor for the second week in a row. While the Cowboys apparently made a concerted effort to get rookie running back Tony Pollard more involved in the gameplan, he nor Ezekiel Elliott really left their mark on the game.
Zeke finished with 45 yards and a touchdown, but on 16 carries for a measly average of just 2.8 yards per rushing attempt. Pollard finished the day with two carries for 12 yards.
Both running backs sort of made up for their lack of prowess on the ground by adding in a receiving touchdown apiece, but the lack of ability to move the ball on the ground is concerning, not only because that has been a perceived strength, but because we are moving towards that time of year where running the ball effectively becomes an essential part of winning close ball games.
Dak Prescott was probably one of the brighter spots on the day. After going for almost 400 yards through the air in last week’s loss to the Vikings, 397 to be exact, he followed that up with a 444-yard three-touchdown performance in Detroit.
FOX analyst Charles Davis noted that it appears over the last few weeks that the Cowboys are trying to transition to being more Dak’s team that Ezekiel Elliott’s team, specifically meaning that where they have typically run the ball in clutch moments or more frequently over the past few years, they are now not only trusting but relying on Prescott to make those plays.
For me and at a minimum, they are evening out the distribution of playmaking between the two main guys in Prescott and Elliott, which not only makes the team more deadly in general but gives opposing coordinators something else to have to try and stop on a week to week basis. All in all, a win is definitely a win and you’ll take that, especially with the Philadelphia Eagles dropping another one on Sunday to the Patriots.
Speaking of New England, the Dallas Cowboys now roll into Gillette Stadium next weekend to try their hand at beating the team that boasts one of the best defenses in the league. The Cowboys have a chance to win the game, but Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott must play at their peaks, while the defense needs to find a way to be a lot better than they were on Sunday against Detroit.