On the verge of imploding, the Dallas Cowboys put together their most impressive effort of the season in dismantling a good Jacksonville defense.
We should have known. We should have seen it coming. After giving away an extremely winnable game on the road last week, the Dallas Cowboys came out and systematically destroyed the Jacksonville Jaguars, 40-7.
As frustrating as it is to follow this team, they typically find ways to bounce back. It’s been the calling card of Jason Garrett’s team for years. Say what you will about his incessant clapping, but his teams never quit on him. Yesterday was a case in point.
You know, we heap criticism on Garrett and the rest of the coaches when the team falters. It’s deserved scrutiny, no doubt. But if we’re going to crucify the coaching staff when they lose, then it’s only fair to at least praise them when they put together such a complete effort. The Cowboys dominated the line of scrimmage on offense from the jump. Consequently, the 24-0 halftime lead made the rest of the game a mere formality.
To that point, the game plan must be extolled. Sure, Ezekiel Elliott posted a workmanlike 106 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown, but this wasn’t the dominant performance he had against the Lions.
Elliott’s yards were tough and hard earned. The true focus needs to be on Dak Prescott’s execution through the air and with his feet. The offense flowed through the quarterback yesterday. He wasn’t flashy through the air–he only threw for 183 yards–but he was efficient and protected the ball, albeit with a couple of lucky bounces.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the internal unrest this team has displayed lately. You’ve had receivers openly insinuating that they’ve been open, it’s just that their quarterback can’t deliver the ball. After the bitter taste, we were all left with last week, it felt like the Cowboys were walking into an ambush at home against the Jaguars. It’s a small miracle that all the secondary and tertiary chatter got quashed long enough to piece a competent plan together.
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So again, when we’re all ready to run Jason Garrett out on a rail, maybe we need to temper the clamor for his ouster when his team responds the way they did yesterday. I know that’s a difficult proposition.
It’s much easier to torch him when he decides not to go for it on fourth down on the road in overtime. Yesterday potentially had “give up” written all over it.
So coaches and players alike deserve all the credit for coming out and putting their best foot forward. For better or worse, 3-3 works in the NFC East.
Is that an indictment on the division? Absolutely. But the reality is that the Cowboys are in the thick of their own race. That stands for something.
The lesson here is that the NFL is a week-to-week proposition. The Cowboys have been able to keep this up-and-down act going because their division is a mess, but the fact remains that they’re going to have to steal a game or two that no one expects them to.
Yesterday was a good start, but a road win next week in Washington would be even better. The alternative is a 3-4 record as they hit their bye week, and then all the same diatribes come back for the second half of the season.
For now, however, all is somewhat right for Cowboys Nation. The week ended with a resounding win against a team that played in their conference’s championship game last season. If nothing else, this proves to the players that they can compete at a high level.
This is hugely important for a team as young as the Dallas Cowboys, and it probably should apply to their fans as well. This bunch is still a work in progress, so strap in and try to enjoy the ride.
- Published on 10/15/2018 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 10/15/2018 at 04:37 AM