Once again, he fares much better than you think…
Here’s a quick rundown of all Dak’s close game losses as well key plays that dictated the game:
New York Giants Week 1 2016:
This was Dak’s first regular season game as a Cowboy and Terrence Williams didn’t run out-of-bounds with 8 seconds on the clock and no timeouts.
New York Giants Week 14 2016:
In Dak’s first cold weather game, he threw 2 interceptions before the 4th quarter and on one of the final drives of the game, Dez Bryant caught a slant and proceeded to fumble the ball giving possession back to the Giants.
LA Rams Week 4 2017:
Ryan Switzer muffed a punt in the second quarter, which lead to a 7 yard touchdown for the Rams. In addition, Dak threw an interception to Mark Barron when the Dallas Cowboys were down 2 in the fourth quarter which led to the Rams kicking a field goal.
Green Bay Packers Week 5 2017:
Dak threw a pick six to Damarious Randall in the 4th quarter that gave the Packers an outright lead. Had Dallas scored a touchdown on the drive they would’ve sealed the game. Instead Dak scored a touchdown on the following drive while giving Aaron Rodgers enough time to be Aaron Rodgers…
Houston Texans Week 5 2018:
In a defensive battle where Dak threw 2 interceptions in the first 3 quarters, Dallas elected to not go for it on fourth and one on the Houston Texans 42 yard line in overtime. Chris Jones punted and Houston drove down the field for a field goal to win.
Washington Redskins Week 7 2018:
Dak fumbles the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson forget how to run the clock out. Dak drove the team back to field goal range. Garrett and the Cowboys waste time that could’ve been used to score a touchdown and instead settle for a field goal. A snap infraction was called causing them to move the ball back. In all this chaos, Brett Maher misses a 52 yard field goal by hitting the left upright.
From describing these games alone, something is pretty evident. Dak is the most responsible for all that happens in games. The same can be said when the Cowboys win no matter the final score. Dak has the most control over this team’s execution. So let’s discuss his play in these losses.
Dak has had the benefit of a good defense. It seems no matter what happens on offense, the defense has helped the Cowboys stay in games. With that said it ultimately is up to the offense to score points and seal the deal.
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For how many times Dak has sealed the deal, he simply can’t win them all. Admittedly, Dak did throw crucial interceptions against the Rams and Packers and he also did fumble for a touchdown against the Redskins. However, in both the Packers and Redskins games, the team almost made a comeback. It took Aaron Rodgers and a whack officiating crew to lose both those games in the end.
Against the Texans, the Cowboys had a possession in overtime and were driving, but due to conservative play calling and a general mismanagement of the situation, the Cowboys lost the game. Twice against the Giants, Dak’s wide receivers made some careless plays and those plays solidified the losses.
As I’ve mentioned, Dak is responsible for every loss as he is for every win. I also said close games are dictated by luck. In the case of both Giants games and the Redskins game, the luck ran out for the Dallas Cowboys.
In fact, the only time I can think of that Dak played poorly in the 4th quarter and managed to win a close game was Week 14 2018 against the New Orleans Saints. Dak fumbled with just over two minutes to go in the red zone and it took Jourdan Lewis to make an acrobatic interception to seal the deal.
In all… What happens to the Cowboys offense in the first 3 quarters should not be attributed to ones ability to play in clutch time. Just because a quarterback throws 5 interceptions in the 1st half doesn’t mean he can’t score three touchdowns in the 4th quarter to win a game. (I was not trying to allude to anything specific, but that situation might sound familiar)