Dak Prescott missing two open deep balls on the offense's first possession sums up the Dallas Cowboys' start against the Washington Commanders. Prescott recognized that CeeDee Lamb torched his coverage, but the quarterback overshot his receiver by a couple of yards and the offense punted.
Those misses have been the talking point of the first quarter. Ever willing to enter the spotlight for questionable coaching decisions, though, Ron Rivera promptly took the villain torch from Prescott and sprinted away with it.
Sam Howell and the Commanders have moved the ball pretty well against the Cowboys defense to start. Washington crossed midfield on each of their first two drives, but they stalled out before entering field goal range.
Rather than go for it in a game you definitely need points to win, Rivera punted on 4th and 7 from Dallas' 44-yard line and again on 4th and 2 (!) from the Cowboys' 42. It's the latest evidence that Rivera is undeserving of the "Riverboat Ron" nickname.
In the most unlikely of holiday alliances, Cowboys and Commanders fans united to destroy Rivera's cowardly coaching.
Cowboys, Commanders fans destroy Ron Rivera for punting decisions on Thanksgiving
It's not often two rival fan bases see eye-to-eye smack dab in the middle of a rivalry game. We suppose that encapsulates the woefulness of Rivera's decision.
The Commanders are 4-7 and a huge underdog. It's going to be difficult to keep pace with Dallas' offense once it finds a rhythm. Rivera knows his defense has surrendered 29 or more points in seven of 11 games this season. Basic knowledge says to keep the offense on the field to try and keep possession.
That doesn't apply to Rivera, however. It would appear the head coach would rather win the field position battle and trust his defense.
No complaints on our end. By all means, Rivera, continue coaching not to lose. This will turn into a blowout soon enough if that continues.