Dallas Cowboys: A disastrous start for America’s team
Dallas Cowboys: The defense had its ups and downs
While the Dallas Cowboys offense is arguably among the best in the NFL, you can’t say the same about the defense. Tom Brady and his star-led offense were in a position to torch the group of defenders all night.
Brady played very well, throwing for 379 yards and four touchdowns. What’s important to note is he also threw two interceptions. Yes, neither was his fault since one was due to Leonard Fournette’s butterfingers, and the other was a hail-mary pass to end the first half.
Dallas’ defense also forced two fumbles and recovered both of them. I don’t remember the last time the Cowboys forced turnovers that often, so that’s a good showing. The downside is the interior defensive line was not the best.
The big men were consistently pushed around by the Bucs’ impressive offensive line. That and the defensive backs got burned too many times. Most notably, cornerback Anthony Brown was toyed around with by former (I mean, supposed to be) superstar Antonio Brown.
In total, Brady threw six passes that went for 20+ yards, including two on their game-winning drive. It’s safe to say the defensive backs NEED to be more stable. Then again, it’s Brady and a loaded group of receivers.
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott quietly played great
Stats don’t always tell the tale. Running back Ezekiel Elliott proved that narrative is true on Thursday. According to fans, having only 13 touches is his fault.
Yes, I understand that Zeke is supposed to be a superstar and carries a hefty contract. That doesn’t mean he needs 100+ yards every game (although that would be nice too). There are other ways to contribute to the team.
One often-forgotten part of a running back’s game is blocking. Elliott was very successful in making blocks to allow Dak to make plays. Put it this way, Zeke’s blocking directly led to two touchdown passes.
Averaging 3.0 yards per rushing attempt is very underwhelming. Sometimes, you need to look beyond those stats. Maybe that’s because the Cowboys needed to throw the ball. Maybe because he played a crucial role as a pass-blocker. Maybe because he does more than run the ball. Maybe because Ezekiel Elliott is not a one-dimensional running back, he is a multi-use three-down back who can play in all situations.