Cowboys Red Flag No. 1 – Too Many Penalties
Week after week, I was hoping Dallas would become more disciplined as a team and fix their penalty issue. Instead, they finished leading the league with 127 penalties for 1,103 yards. The cold truth is that if a team keeps getting penalized, they are probably not winning many games.
There is a common theme with teams towards the top of the list. The Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, and Houston Texans are following the Cowboys for top five in total penalties. All teams either lost on Wild Card weekend or did not make the playoffs. The three most disciplined teams in the league? The Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Los Angeles Rams. All Super Bowl contenders and playing this weekend.
Time and time again, when the Dallas offense would be on the move, a mistake on offense would set them back. The game against the Las Vegas Raiders was a flag fest, totaling 14 flags for 166 yards. Even though the game went to overtime, the Cowboys seemed to be on the losing end from the start.
One reason why Connor Williams was taken out of the lineup midseason was because of his penalty count. Until Nov. 14 this season, Williams was the worst offender in football.
The problem that plagued him all season came back around against the 49ers. After being down 10-0 in the first quarter, the Cowboys were in a rhythm on offense, and Prescott hit Lamb for a 33-yard gain. However, the play was called back due to a hold by Williams.
Even after halftime, Dallas found themselves in a manageable 3rd & 4, which then became a 3rd & 9 due to a false start by Williams. After that, it went to a 3rd & 14 from a false start by tackle La’el Collins. On the next play, Prescott got sacked, and it became 4th & 20. That drive seemed to be where the Cowboys lost the game. They needed points in the third quarter and could not capitalize on that chance
The 2021 season will be remembered as one where Dallas faced two opponents every week: the referees and the opposing team. With a deck like that stacked against you, not many teams would win in that situation, which is the main reason the Cowboys’ season ended in disappointment.