Dallas Cowboys are suffering from slow starts, and it’s hurting

Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys have been struggling in the first quarter recently so we took a look at why and how it needs to be corrected.

After a disappointing 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, it is clear that slow starts are becoming an issue for the Dallas Cowboys. These slow starts are part of the reason why the Cowboys have lost two of their last three games.

So far this season the Cowboys have a minus-1 point differential in the first quarter, and since the New England Patriots game in Week 6, they have a minus-22 first-quarter point differential.

That’s a problem.

It appears the Cowboys’ preference as of late is to receive the ball if they win the opening coin toss, making it all that more important to get some type of points to start the game.

Since Week 6, Dallas has scored on its opening drive only one time, putting the team behind the eight-ball in just about every game and putting more stress on the offense. Playing from behind is a difficult task because the opposition knows you have to throw, and it allows them to bring more pressure on the quarterback.

Dallas Cowboys’ slow start vs. KC Chiefs doomed the game plan

The Cowboys offense is at its best when it is are able to run effectively, letting that set up play-action passes and deep shots down the field. We all saw firsthand what playing from behind did to the Cowboys on Sunday against Kansas City.

The Chiefs were able to rack up five sacks and eight quarterback hits on Dak Prescott. The offense was seemingly unable to get in any groove all game, a big reason why it was held without a touchdown for the first time all season.

In road games, starting fast is especially important because you can quiet the crowd after taking an early lead. Sadly, the Cowboys have not been able to do that. This season the Cowboys have a point differential of minus-9 in road games in the first quarter.

Additionally, their record is 2-3 in games in which they do not score first, but 5-0 in games in which they do.

All the stats are here to show you why this Cowboys team needs to get off to fast starts in games.

Dallas Cowboys can get back on track with faster starts

All three of the Cowboys’ losses have come in games which they started slow. With the top of the NFC so tightly congested, the Cowboys have a chance to separate themselves this final month and a half of the regular season.

According to TeamRankings.com, Dallas has averaged 6.2 points in the first quarter this year, which ranks fifth in the NFL. But, over the last three weeks, the Cowboys are only averaging 3.3 points in the first 15 minutes.

If they can get back to averaging a touchdown in the first quarter, that would be “just what the doctor ordered” for a team that is starting slow of late.

Looking at the rest of the Cowboys schedule, it appears they will be favorites in every game except maybe the game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.

That means there are no excuses for Dallas to not get off to fast starts in these games.

The first chance they get will be against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. The Raiders are struggling of late, most recently getting dominated by the Cincinnati Bengals last week 32-13. The Cowboys look to bounce back in a big way, and getting off to a fast start and early lead in this game and for the remainder of the season will help the Cowboys achieve everything they wish to this year.

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