Leading up to the Week 5 showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, Dallas was talking the talk. But when the game kicked off, they were unable to walk the walk.
Dak Prescott was asked about the magnitude of this game, since the Cowboys have lost to them in each of the past two postseasons, and he had a rather snarky comment saying "If you just want to piss me off ... I appreciate that." He then came out flat and led the offense on a three-and-out on three of their first four drives — with the only exception being a one-play drive that ended with a Tony Pollard fumble.
Fans watching at home knew what this slow start meant, since it was similar to the Week 3 outing when the Arizona Cardinals came out and punched them in the mouth. Just as they did then, the Cowboys failed to respond to the physicality and this one was an even more embarrassing loss.
As painful as it is, we now look back over their second loss of the season and identify three duds — as well as two studs — from Week 5.
Cowboys Dud: Tony Pollard, Running Back
It was clear right away that this San Francisco defense was going to make life hard on Dak Prescott. The Dallas quarterback was rattled from the start and they could have really used a spark in the run game to help settle him down.
That didn't happen — and in fact, Tony Pollard even gave the ball away on just his third rushing attempt.
Pollard's first run was for just one yard and his second was for a loss of a yard. His third attempt started out strong as he went for four yards (which felt like a huge gain at the time) but then Pollard lost the ball when Fred Warner punched it out.
An unfortunate bounce helped San Francisco recover it and while the Cowboys defense forced a turnover of their own, this was the worst possible time to cough one up.