While the Dallas Cowboys postseason run felt especially short this year, this season has been long enough to experience the typical rollercoaster of emotions and variance of play we’ve come to expect of this team for more than two decades. In fact, with the addition of week 18, this season feels as if the Cowboys made the divisional round of the playoffs. (starts tearing)
It hasn’t been quite a week yet, but it has taken a little longer than usual for people to calm down from this season’s postseason loss. Quite frankly, this should’ve been expected. Dallas had the best offense this season scoring the most points of any team and outgaining all teams in total yardage. They had the second-best passing defense according to defensive DVOA and their run defense was markedly improved at 16th in the league.
Players like Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Jayron Kearse, Jourdan Lewis, and Malik Hooker had career years and were amongst the best in the league in various defensive categories. While DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory had to miss games this season due to injuries, they managed to be productive with their snap count. After this regular season was complete, people knew this Cowboys team felt different than in years past showing the ability to dominate on both sides of the ball.
So they naturally looked like a shell of themselves on Sunday in their first-round exit to the San Francisco 49ers. The offensive line could not block anyone, there were penalties left and right (some unjustifiably called), and a lack of offensive adjustments that led former Dallas Cowboys and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman to question the very logic of the Dallas Cowboys offensive install.
To make things worse, we were greeted with some weird news almost immediately after the game.
While we can’t make anything of the uncited rumors, we can ask questions about why the Cowboys’ offensive staff persisted in using Ezekiel Elliott in a larger role than backup running back Tony Pollard especially since Elliott’s drop off in play was quite significant the last ten weeks of the season.
As I said, the logic of some of these decisions does not follow and it’s now all piling on the fans all at once.
Today I will try to point out five moments in the Dallas Cowboys 2021 season that altered their course from super bowl aspirations to a first-round exit.
It starts right after week one…