Dallas Cowboys: Losers from the Cowboys Week Four game

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys gestures from the sidelines during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys gestures from the sidelines during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at AT /

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of a tough loss in Week Four against the Los Angeles Rams. Here are some of the biggest losers from that contest.

The Dallas Cowboys got stunned on Sunday after losing to the emerging Los Angeles Rams, 35-30. Putting together this list just hurt my heart as really the Cowboys are still in a great position to win their division and nothing earth-shattering has really occurred. Still, Sunday’s loss showed Cowboy fans and the NFL world that Dallas may not be as invincible as once thought. 

While growing pains are to be expected with such a young roster, some issues extended far beyond the players on the field.The coaching staff should take a large portion of the blame for this loss as the Cowboys seemed to be in the driver’s seat for much of the game.

Now just because a player made this list does not mean they did not play their hearts out, but it could mean they were not put in a position to succeed. Here we will look at some of the biggest “losers” from Sunday’s performance.


Coaching staff: Who had Dak Prescott throw the ball 36 times? Seriously who thought that would be a good idea in order to control a fragile lead. Dak had 36 passing attempts in this contest and that follows the formula for having a bad offensive performance.

The Cowboys beat the Giants in Week One hands down, but scoring field goal, after field goal, was not how they ever dreamed they would do it.The Giants more or less lost that game because their offense was not clicking (it is now).

The second example comes in the Cowboys loss to the Denver Broncos which is the worst loss since Dak and Zeke have joined the team. In that game, he threw the ball 50 times and Dallas lost unsurprisingly.

The key to the Cowboys offense is the running game and that cannot get going if you throw the ball so much. The line in front of any Cowboys running back may be a bit worse thanks to the loss of Ronald Leary who left in free agency.

There is a deficiency there, whether it is the offensive line itself, the play calling, or both something is wrong. The Cowboys were behind in the fourth quarter, prior to that Dallas was in control. The conservative play style pretty much gave the game away.

If you are in the red zone and seemingly have control of the game, you do not settle for a field goal, that has been happening all season and finally, it caught up to Dallas. You have a quarterback who has incredibly dangerous legs, the best running back in the NFL, the “best” offensive line in the NFL, and weapons like Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, and you settle for a field goal in the red zone.

I am not advocating Madden like play calling here but at some point, you just have to score a touchdown. The coaching staff may have opened up the playbook a bit more for Dak Prescott but they have not made the play calling any less vanilla.

Check downs, punting, and quick drives, are not the way to win football games. Sure did some injuries play a mitigating factor, OF COURSE (it’s the NFL) but risks have to be taken to attain bigger rewards.

On Sunday not enough risks were taken to win, instead, the game plan in the second half was to protect a fragile lead that realistically was going to dissipate anyway. One extra touchdown would have won this game for Dallas and the blame for that not occurring is completely on the coaching staff.

You don’t build a house with pebbles, you build them with bricks and you don’t win football games with field goals, especially in that situation.

Dez Bryant (Wide Receiver): For all of the talk that Dez is not elite, he is sure handling things well. He has really tuned out the talk and has taken a leadership role on this team that shows how much he has matured since his rookie season.

The main reason why he is on the wrong side of this list is that he caught 5 of his 13 targets. Now Prescott should not be throwing the ball that much, but Bryant should have at least caught 50 percent of those passes.

Trumaine Johnson is a good cornerback, above average and instinctive, but he is not elite. Dez looked to have won this battle early on as he hauled in a 36 yard gain, after that, not much.

The Cowboys need a true number one wide receiver and I am convinced Bryant is that guy, the offense just needs to figure out a way to get him the ball in a more productive fashion.

I am certain he is motivated by this loss and the upcoming matchup against Green Bay, but he will need to show that on the field by making sure his team comes away with the W and cashing in on the opportunities that are afforded to him throughout the game.

I believe Bryant is a top 5 wide receiver in this league, but he simply needs to be more productive.

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Jason Witten (Tight End): This ties into play calling as Witten had the best start he has had in years in terms of productivity. In the last two weeks, Witten has two catches, in the first two games of the season he had 17.

Witten may be older but he is still an important part of this offense and should be targeted in the red zone more than he is.

Jaylon Smith (Linebacker): Smith showed some limitations today which is totally understandable given the position he was thrust into. He struggled with coverage as he should as he is not fully recovered from his knee injury.

He will work on this and his health will improve but he is still a long way off from being a reliable defensive star. Jaylon has still been one of the more productive linebackers against the run and has shown flashes of brilliance so this game should not deter him from attaining the greatness he had shown at a college level.

Ryan Switzer (Wide Receiver): Muffed punt, it happens but really it shouldn’t. It is a risk for any kick/punt returner but his fumble was backbreaking. Once again just youthful growing pains at work but still pretty tough to deal with in the moment.

Offensive Line: Something is wrong here, I do not know what it is but it is obvious. The rest of the NFL is going to focus more on Elliott and the Cowboys ground game but the production the Cowboys star running back has been seeing is directly correlated to the holes he can run through.

So far this season there has not been a ton, and for what it is worth Zeke has made the most of his carries. But how the “best” offensive line in football gets shut down by the Denver Broncos defensive line without Demarcus Ware is beyond me.

That 8 yard game for Zeke was symptomatic of something bigger for the Cowboys running attack as he has struggled to get separation all season long. The Cowboys have played some stiff competition especially on the defensive side of the ball but the loss to the Rams shows that it is not only the quality of opponent fans should be worrying about.

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Look this loss stings mainly because very few expected it. Even with all of the “regression talk” the Cowboys were still expected to close out a game that they controlled. The Rams simply wanted it more and a combination of turnovers, bad play calling, and good offense (from the Rams) sealed their fate.

There is a lot to be excited about and with the Washington Redskins losing on Monday Night Football, the division is still wide open. While the sky may not be falling, there are definite issues that need to be addressed on both sides of the football.

Hopefully, the return to Green Bay will help motivate the Cowboys to get a much-needed win in a game that has been circled on the calendar since the offseason.