Dallas Cowboys: The final nail in the coffin for Mike Nolan?
By Tyrone Starr
The latest failure
Not only did the Dallas Cowboys have 11 days to prepare for their next game, a Week 13 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, but they also faced a team ravaged by COVID, losers of three straight games and playing a quarterback who had minimal if any practice time. This would surely seem like a chance for the defense to at least be competitive.
As we all know, the exact opposite occurred. The Ravens fell just six yards short of 300 yards rushing, put 34 points on the Cowboys’ head, and sent Dallas back home looking as pathetic as ever.
Even if this was all some clever ruse that the coaching staff is in on to “organically” tank, all it really did was prove Nolan should not be brought back in 2021. Anyone with about ten minutes of free time would have devised a plan to force Baltimore to beat Dallas through the air.
Baltimore’s top four receivers, not including tight end Mark Andrews who did not play due to COVID, had combined for 1,247 yards receiving with seven touchdowns prior to the game. Eleven NFL receivers have more touchdowns individually than the Ravens’ top four guys total. Two, Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf and Kansas City’s Travis Kelce almost have as many yards individually as the Ravens’ “Fab Four.”
Still, here were the Dallas Cowboys, getting gashed time and again on the ground. Baltimore running back Gus Edwards needed just seven… SEVEN carries to eclipse 100 yards rushing. Their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, came just six yards short of 100 himself including a Pop Warner level easy 37-yar touchdown that made a fool of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
With seemingly no focus on either the ground game or containing Jackson in the pocket, Baltimore had an easy, breezy day against the Dallas Cowboys. With ample time to prepare, this should be the final nail in the coffin for Mike Nolan as a defensive coordinator. The only reason to keep him on to finish the year is to hopefully continue the march towards a top-three draft pick.