Cowboys fall apart, lose big to Atlanta: Sport DFW Quick Takes

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: Dak Prescott
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: Dak Prescott /

The Dallas Cowboys fell handily to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, dropping to 5-4 and slipping back out of the playoff picture.

The Dallas Cowboys got a glimpse of what life without Ezekiel Elliott is like. More so, they were given a clinic of what life without Tyron Smith is like. Because for as much as Zeke was missed at running back, it was left tackle that spelled doom for the Cowboys.

Chaz Green, the Dallas Cowboys’ swing tackle, was given an opportunity to prove himself on Sunday. Due to injuries, the former third round pick has struggled seizing opportunities up until now. Prove himself, Chaz did. Just not in the way he or Cowboys Nation would have hoped.

Green gave up a franchise record, six sacks to otherwise average edge rusher, Adrian Clayborn. This eliminated drives, dashed scoring opportunities, and tormented Dak Prescott as Dallas dropped another winnable game. 

Let’s take it to the Sport DFW staff for Quick Takes:

Dink Kearney

The Dallas Cowboys lost their worse game of the year in horrible fashion against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons blew out the Cowboys 27-7 in what was total domination by the Falcons defensive front.

The Cowboys allowed eight sacks. Dak Prescott was pressured and hit all afternoon, and the offense never got into rhythm. Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a career high five sacks, while entering the season with only two sacks. The Cowboys giving up eight sacks was the most since 1991 when the Philadelphia Eagles tallied 11.

The Cowboys absolutely missed All Pro left tackle Tyron Smith today as backup Chaz Green was beyond miserable. He was so bad that Clayborn looked like a Hall of Famer. Jason Garrett came to his common senses and benched Green late in the game. Replacement,  Byron Bell,  played better the little time he was in the game.

If Smith doesn’t return next week against the Eagles, the  Cowboys will lose worse than they did against the Falcons. Dak ran for his life. To pinpoint this loss on him is wrong. The Cowboys offensive line couldn’t do anything right. The offensive line was manhandled throughout the game. The o-line didn’t open any holes, couldn’t pass protect, and just looked overmatched.

Even if Zeke played against the Falcons, I believe the Cowboys would’ve taken an “L”. The offense was pathetic, and the defense didn’t do anything to help. Besides Xavier Woods‘ interception, the Cowboys defense resembled the worst  one in the NFL, not the defense that ranks third in the NFL in sacks.

Blame the coaching staff for not making the proper adjustments to stop Clayborn. Further, the Cowboys defense allowed Matt Ryan to covert eight straight first downs. For real? Wow.

If the Cowboys want to keep Dak upright and healthy, they better fix their left tackle position fast or this team will sink faster than the Titantic. So Garrett and his coaching staff better fix this situation or the Cowboys will be looking for a top-15 pick in next year’s draft.

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Dan Ruppert

Going into the game I thought the Dallas Cowboys had a shot. Once Sean Lee went down, I turned to my wife and said, “This is about to get ugly, game might be over.” I hate that I was right.

What gave me the biggest pause going into the game was not the loss of Ezekiel Elliott, but Tyron Smith, and after watching Chaz Green look like the worst lineman in the league, my fears were confirmed.

If Dallas doesn’t have Tyron Smith and Sean Lee next week, the Cowboys will have no shot making it win or go home mode for the rest of the season.

Sure, the Elliott suspension hurt this team, but what amounted to no left tackle hurt worse. While it isn’t time to panic, no Lee means this defense goes from really good, to really bad. That is a problem looking forward, not just this season but in the future.

Next week will be a huge game and Dallas has to fix the problems on the offensive line and on defense. I would look for the injury reports on Smith throughout the week. If he can’t go there will be a huge problem.

Next: Damn you, Tony Romo

A few notes:

  • It took way too long for Jason Garrett to pull Chaz Green out. This is in line with his lack of adjustments in game.
  • Sean Lee is vital to the defense. Not just playing against the run or over the middle, but making adjustments and aligning people.
  • Jaylon Smith over pursues everything and is constantly out of position. Not what you want from the heir to Sean Lee.
  • The angles this secondary takes is abysmal. It has always been an issue, but it looked really bad this week.
  • The offense can operate without Ezekiel Elliot, but it can’t without Tyron Smith.