5 areas the Cowboys need to improve in after the bye week

Cowboys, Johnathan Hankins. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Cowboys, Johnathan Hankins. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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3. Clean up the penalties

This feels like a broken record to say but the Cowboys need to find a way to clean up the penalties on both sides of the ball. After eight weeks, they’re fourth in the NFL in penalties per game with just under seven. They’ve sadly been very consistent as well with 24 flags accepted against the defense and 24 on the offense — with seven going against the special teams unit for a total of 55 in eight games.

Offensively, the penalties have killed drives and on defense, they’ve surrendered 207 free yards due to infractions. Overall, it’s 418 yards the team has been penalized which is beyond frustrating, especially when considering how normal it has become with this franchise.

With that being said, it’s a bit infuriating the way flags find their way to the turf when Dallas is playing. Due to their reputation, the officials seem to be watching with a magnifying glass, especially when it comes to holding on the offensive line.

Having said that, it’s their own fault they have this reputation. Year after year they make mistakes in key moments. And some of the most painful calls happen due to a lack of discipline.

Whether that be jumping early, lining up in the neutral zone, or having too many men in the huddle, this team is guilty of shooting themselves in the feet far too often. If they want to make it deep in the postseason, they have to stop putting themselves in self-inflicted holes.