The Dallas Cowboys have now played two teams with an actual pulse and have lost both games. Is this a troubling indication of who they really are?
For the Dallas Cowboys, yesterday’s first half was a case study in how to lose games in the NFL. Penalties and turnovers conspired to make life miserable for the home team. It culminated in a 17-0 halftime deficit from which the Cowboys had all manner of difficulty overcoming. They mounted a respectable rally in the second half, but the unforced errors ultimately proved too much to handle.
Make no mistake, yesterday’s loss falls into the “bad” category. It was much worse than last week’s setback in New Orleans. The Packers, while a good team, probably fall a tier below true Super Bowl contenders. Plus, they were missing Pro Bowl wideout Davante Adams to a turf toe injury. Realistically speaking, Green Bay entered the game as the more wounded team.
Yet time and again, the Cowboys could not keep out of their own way. Shame is, their opening possession was almost a work of perfection. But the air left their sails when receiver Amari Cooper let an eminently catchable ball bounce off both hands and into the waiting arms of a Packer defender. Green Bay scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive, and that set the tone for the rest of the first half.
Here’s the thing, though. If the Cowboys are this championship contender we’ve been told they are, they have to win games like this. Just like last week, this was a conference loss, and that’s sure to come back and bite them once tiebreakers start coming into play. Worst of all, the good feelings everyone had about this team early on have all but evaporated.
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The truth of the matter is, the Cowboys destroyed the cupcakes on their schedule. That was the expectation. Last week’s loss against the Saints? No great crime there. A lot of good teams have gone to New Orleans and lost. No alarm bells were needed. But now? Now there’s a lot of doubt about this team, and it’s hard to refute that. You can’t come out on national television and wet the bed like that and still be taken seriously.
The other concerning thing is the interior of the defense. Once Green Bay discovered they could run between the tackles, they took advantage of it. Championship contenders aren’t soft up the middle, and currently, the Cowboys are just that.
Top to bottom, the Cowboys simply gave themselves no chance to win yesterday. They needed a bounce back effort and failed spectacularly. The second half rally was commendable, but the fact that they were in that spot was of their own doing. Again, Green Bay is a good team, but Dallas beat themselves. Until they prove that they can beat a playoff contender, then they are what their record says they are. They’re a squad that can truck bad teams but can’t hang with the big dogs. That is the quintessence of mediocrity.
If there is a silver lining here, it’s that their shortcomings are correctable. Protect the ball. Don’t commit undisciplined penalties. Make life easier on yourself. The three Dallas turnovers ultimately cost them ten points. When you boil it down, that’s your ballgame. Omit just half of the total errors, and the result could’ve been different. Omit them all, and they probably win going away. This team needs to start learning from their mistakes in a hurry.
- Published on 10/07/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 10/07/2019 at 09:29 AM