It sadly wasn't a nightmare. The Dallas Cowboys really went out and got bludgeoned as touchdown favorites by the 9-8 Green Bay Packers. Nobody expected the Cowboys to be in offseason mode before the end of Wild Card Weekend, but here we are.
Jerry Jones could make wholesale changes this offseason and nobody would blame him. Mike McCarthy's future as head coach should be reevaluated, as should Dak Prescott's contract and his monstrous 2024 cap hit.
This game was over before halftime. While the Jaguars overcame a 27-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Chargers in last year's playoffs, the Cowboys never looked like the comeback kids on Sunday. Even if the defense stood strong in the second half, there's nothing to suggest the offense would've climbed back.
With emotions running high after another playoff letdown, let's underline four Cowboys who deserve serious blame for the loss.
4. Stephon Gilmore, CB
A number of players are deserving of the No. 4 spot. CeeDee Lamb was considered, as his two dropped passes in the first half were costly. However, Stephon Gilmore chased shadows all game against Green Bay's young receivers.
Gilmore allowed four catches on four targets for 81 yards and a touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus. The allowed yardage was 20 more than the next Cowboy. He allowed a 158.3 passer rating and didn't break up a single pass. His 33.9 coverage grade was his lowest of the season.
On the touchdown, Gilmore gave up almost a 10-yard cushion to Dontayvion Wicks and still got burned by the in-breaking route. On an earlier rep against Romeo Doubs, Gilmore was literally run off the screen. That clip has since gone viral on social media.
Gilmore quietly had a great season for the Cowboys, but his age and declining athleticism got exposed against the Packers. He wasn't responsible for every blown coverage, but big-game Gilmore was nowhere to be found on Sunday.