The Dallas Cowboys were served a beating on a silver platter yesterday. There are no two ways around it. The Denver Broncos came into AT&T Stadium and worked the Cowboys up and down the field on both sides of the ball. There isn’t much silver lining from yesterday.
Dak Prescott had a career day for all the wrong reasons with some of his lowest numbers to date. The defense was gashed all day long. Even the special teams couldn’t catch a break. The one bright spot I do want to shed some light on is Malik Turner.
The Cowboys’ fourth wide receiver showed me a lot of heart and fight by still playing hard and contributing two touchdowns late even though the game was out of reach. There is something to take from that.
The one salvageable thing from yesterday may be that the rest of the NFC East is a complete circus and the Cowboys held a four-game lead in the loss column over the Eagles, Giants, and Washington Football team. With as bad as yesterday was and the undeniability of it, the sky is not falling. It is still so far from time to press the panic button. I think it is more of a reset.
The Dallas Cowboys have the talent to make a run, the question now is how they handle this adversity and bounce back
Why? First off, it is a 17-game season in the NFL. It is a brutal grind, and it is really tough to expect a team to be lights out week-in-week-out. Secondly, the talent level in the NFL is so close amongst teams that the gap between 6-1 and 4-4, like we saw this week, is often is closer than we want to realize.
Rarely does a team run through their schedule without stumbles and giving away a game they shouldn’t. I say this because there are a few interesting things I’ve noticed in looking at teams the last few years who reached the Super Bowl and ultimately won it.
In 2018, the New England Patriots lost back-to-back games to the 7-6 Dolphins and 8-5-1 Steelers in December. They won their final two games of the regular season and ran through the playoffs on their way to a title.
In 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs dropped a game to the 5-5 Titans bringing them to a barely over .500 record of 6-4. The Chiefs rattled off six straight wins before the playoffs capped by their run for the title.
In 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost three out of four games in the month of November and left them at 7-5 entering the final month of the season. The Bucs took their final four games to go into the playoffs hot and they also ended their season with a title.
I am not saying that the Cowboys have nothing to worry about after yesterday’s performance. The lack of focus and the slow start mixed with an inability to get anything going are things that simply can’t continue if this team wants to follow the trend of the last three Super Bowl winners.
But what I am saying is that the NFL is quite an unpredictable beast and things get weird. Week 9 alone saw seven underdogs win outright. That ties directly into the talent gap being much smaller than fans realize. Every player on both teams is paid and playing for their next contract.
The loss stunk and there is really nothing positive the Cowboys can take from that game film, but I think it is also important to press pause on the sky falling and take a deep breath.
The Cowboys are still a good team. They are still going to be in contention throughout the season. They will still be in the picture when we enter the final month of the season and the playoffs. This game needs to be an exception with the first seven games being the rule. If the Cowboys can do that, they have the ability to continue the Super Bowl trend I discussed earlier.