Dallas Cowboys: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Wk1)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Dak Prescott (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Bad

The Bad started pretty much from the first play of the game. DeMarcus Lawrence cost the Dallas Cowboys five yards after jumping into the neutral zone before the first play had even been run by the Rams’ offense. Once the Rams were able to start their offense things got worse. The result of the Ram’s first play from scrimmage was a 20-yard gain.

The defense gave up a total of 422 yards to the Rams offense, 269 through the air, and 153 on the ground. They also allowed the Rams to convert nine of their 17 third-down attempts. The Rams’ uptempo offense seemed to catch the Cowboys’ defense off guard for a good portion of the game before they finally settled in and began to stop it.

The main man behind the dismantling of the Dallas Cowboy defense, other than Rams head coach Sean McVay, was Robert Woods. He shredded the Cowboys’ secondary to the tune of 105 yards on just six catches. His longest play was for 31 yards. McVay’s game plan to neutralize Dallas’ pass rush with quick passes and play-action worked like a charm. Just one of the Dallas Cowboys pass rushers got pressure consistently.

Malcolm Brown added 79 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, including one that went right through Cowboys safety Dorian Thompson.

This was not the ideal unveiling for the Cowboys’ defense for new DC Mike Nolan.

However, Nolan’s defense wasn’t the only bad thing for the Cowboys. The offensive line missed right tackle La’el Collins badly. His replacement, undrafted free agent Terrance Steele, struggled throughout the game. The entire offensive line struggled with pass protection. They allowed Prescott to be pressured on 22.2% of his dropbacks.

They also allowed him to be sacked on 7.5% of his dropbacks. So there is a lot of work to be done.