Cowboys Dud: Donovan Wilson, Safety
One thing has always stood out when the Cowboys lose, they typically shoot themselves in the foot with penalties — and this goes well beyond the four years Mike McCarthy has been the coach.
This year, they've been able to win when they give up less than 40 yards in penalties but when they get hit for more than that, they've been handed a loss.
In week 1, they had five penalties for 35 yards and won 40-0. In Week 2, they had six penalties for 38 yards. Then in Week 3, they were penalized 13 times for 107 yards in a 281-6 loss to the Cardinals.
McCarthy stressed the importance of playing disciplined football throughout that week and they again kept it manageable in Week 4 with five penalties for 32 yards as they knocked off the New England Patriots 38-3.
Facing arguably the best team in the NFC in San Francisco, the Cowboys needed to come out in Week 5 and play disciplined football. That didn't happen as the very first play from scrimmage resulted in a 15-yard penalty with Donovan Wilson being flagged for a face mask penalty as Christian McCaffrey was being taken down after a three-yard gain.
Wilson was flagged again in the second quarter, this time for a helmet-to-helmet hit on McCaffrey. That one was especially frustrating since the offense had just scored its first touchdown and should have gotten the ball back if not for the penalty. Instead, San Francisco wound up taking a 21-7 lead thanks to a McCaffrey touchdown.
Dallas continued to get flagged at the worst possible times including lining up offside on key third-downs early in the game. Not all of that was on Wilson, but he was one of the tone-setters.