2. The Cowboys missed Ezekiel Elliott
Somehow, this was a talking point on Cowboys Twitter after the loss. The idea that Dallas missed Elliott is ultimate copium. Yes, Tony Pollard struggled in the red zone, but let's not act like he was being fed touches inside the five.
Ultimately, this is a play-calling issue. Might Elliott have fought for an extra yard or two on some of Pollard's red zone touches? Perhaps, but McCarthy was calling runs up the middle on first and second down 10 yards away from the end zone.
The Cowboys have been alarmingly predictable when they reach the red zone. The run call percentage on first and second down is astronomically high. Elliott is the superior short-yardage back relative to Pollard, but Pollard is arguably just as good fighting through contact and identifying holes to run through,
There simply wasn't any holes, which isn't surprising given Dallas was without three Pro Bowl offensive linemen, including their center and right guard.
Pollard was efficient on the ground for the game. He's the least of the Cowboys concerns. McCarthy needs to be more creative in the red zone, but getting the offensive line back to full strength would pay massive dividends.