The Dallas Cowboys have three games in twelve days and have had two bad games in the last three, however that’s hardly a surprise since this was always the stretch of schedule that offered the most concern.
Week eight (after the bye) through week thirteen was always going to be rough. It started with the Vikings, then Denver (remember there were questions if Rodgers could be the QB), and while Atlanta was always looking to be an easy game, the Chiefs, Raiders, and Saints in twelve days, were all going to be fairly tough
So the Cowboys took care of business against the Vikings, but then struggled against a good Broncos defense, then, of course, rolled over the Falcons, then lost to an aggressive Chiefs defense which has really improved since acquiring Melvin Ingram.
Now, the battered and bruised Cowboys must turn around in four days to play a reeling Raiders team. Once they get through this game, they have to head to New Orleans for another Thursday matchup against the Saints, who have been a little up and down, but remain competitive and unpredictable.
The Dallas Cowboys are in their hardest stretch of games for the year…
However, there are some positives through this portion of the season. First, let’s talk injuries and players out. Amari Cooper is probably out until the Saints game, and there is a possibility CeeDee Lamb is out as well (for a concussion unless he clears protocols on a short week). That is your top two wide receivers out and almost fifty percent of your receiving yards.
Also on offense, Tyron Smith is looking to finally return, which should help not only for the Raiders game but for the push into December. Now with Ezekiel Elliott‘s knee a little banged up, the Cowboys are rolling into the next two games trying to just make it through until everyone is back and healthy.
On the defensive side of the ball, there are some serious issues on the defensive line that need to be addressed. While Micah Parsons has stepped up fabulously as a pass rusher, the rest of the line is inconsistent. Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence, Neville Gallimore, Brent Urban, are all out. And Trysten Hill who, after a year, is finally seeing the field again, has forced Dan Quinn to adjust, which has affected the back end.
With a bunch of games coming up against the NFC East, the Cowboys are getting players back at a good time to ensure they keep their lead on the East. A solid push through December and a little luck, players stay healthy, and this team will put those Denver and Kansas City memories to bed.
But this was always the stretch to worry about. Take care of business in the next two games, and the schedule plays to your favor. This team could be fighting for top seeding in week sixteen against the Cardinals, they just have to make it there.
Look, the Dallas Cowboys are still one of the best teams in the NFL, do not let the Denver and Kansas City game sway you. Terence Steele has been an issue at left tackle, it has changed play-calling and hurt this offense tremendously. No Amari and no CeeDee Lamb is a huge loss, but slowly players will come back.
A lack of consistent pass rush outside of Parsons has left this defense scrambling, but that too is slowly going to get remedied. The reinforcements are coming, the Dallas Cowboys just have to hope they don’t lose more players to injury while they fight through it and wait.