Dallas Cowboys: The ‘Boys became Men right before our eyes

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys flip a 180 and turned into the team we all hoped they’d become: 40 Burger

The chances of coming back from an O-2 start to make the playoffs is just 11 percent. Moments ago, I was struggling through an article about how 0-2 does not mean certain death and how Dallas is still alive if they can just correct their issues and let their talent shine.

Welp, that article is thankfully in the wastebasket.

That’s because the Dallas Cowboys pulled off the impossible, and recovered an innovative and highly improbable onside kick in the closing seconds of Sunday’s game. Shifting the win probably and overcoming the biggest deficit of the season. In doing so, they paved the way for victory and dropped their first (but certainly not last) 40-burger of the season.

This is a tale of two acts. Act 1 featured a familiar cast with familiar mistakes. The Cowboys dug themselves a hole, offering up three fumbles in 10 plays. They staked the Falcons a 20-point lead and looked a lot like the team that collapsed last season and the team that never showed up in LA in Week 1 of this season.

But then the boys became men (so to speak). After calling run after run on first downs early (for a 0/5 zero percent success rate) they corrected course and started speckling in first down passes. Then those early down runs that failed before started working. And then the defense finally had something to fight for. And then the game changed.

Act 2: Things never really got pretty for the defense. Even with the monsoon of Cowboys turnovers, the defense still allowed 39 points on the day. But they won key battles and they did what needed to be done.

Important Note: Daryl Worley and Trevon Diggs both dropped easy interceptions they had both eyes on and both hands on.

The Dallas Cowboys offense put up 16 points in the final 5:02 to win by nothing but an extra point. Greg Zuerlein nailed the 46-yard walk-off field goal to salvage the season and definitively change the course of the McCarthy era in Dallas.

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The takeaway from the day is the Dallas Cowboys and their coaches eventually worked desperately. They didn’t do everything they should have but they did everything they needed to. Play action and motion continued to work, despite being used far too rarely. Downfield passing on early downs worked, despite being being used far too late and far too infrequently. Aggressiveness payed off after conservatism dug a hole.

And even though Dallas lost the turnover battle, failed on two fourth down punt fakes, and gave up two Atlanta fourth down conversions, they still won against a good team and evened their record to 1-1.

Next. 3 Ways the Dallas Cowboys can hide their O-line problems this season. dark

The first 5 quarters of the season are polar opposite from the last three quarters. Did Mike McCarthy and staff learn something or were they forced into abnormal behavior? We’ll see next week but today we’ll say those “boys” became “men”.

  • Published on 09/20/2020 at 21:18 PM
  • Last updated at 09/21/2020 at 09:22 AM