Dallas Cowboys Week 6 Grades: A Tale of Two Halves

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys win streak was broken at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. There were questions asked, and plenty of opportunities to separate themselves from the NFC pack but some chinks in the armor were highlighted in the Sunday Night loss to their hated rivals.

A Dallas Cowboys defensive line which was built on speed, was pushed around too often in the first half.  In the second half, they started to gain their footing. A defense that many have labeled elite, couldn’t make a key stop and get the Eagles’ offense off the field.

Plenty of blame to go around for the Dallas Cowboys week 6 loss

Let’s break it down…

Dallas Cowboys RUN OFFENSE

Lined-up in various five-men fronts, the Eagles were determined to force Cooper Rush to beat them. Dallas stayed true to their recent identity and ran the ball. Not enough to control the clock, but the first series of the second half was successful. Mixing runs and allowing Cooper Rush to feed off play action.

Ezekiel Elliott (13 carries for 81 yards) and Tony Pollard (11 for 44) went to work in the second half, but it would have been great this would have started in the first half. Ezekiel Elliott’s 14-yard touchdown run in the second half was his longest run in 38 games.

Grade: B

Dallas Cowboys Pass offense

Cooper Rush has been good in the absence of Dak Prescott, but maybe the collective madness can stop now. Cooper Rush had a passer rating of 1.0 in the first half. I didn’t think that was possible.

Rush threw his first two interceptions of the season and three overall at the end of the game. Rush was better in the second half but he still failed to make critical throws that could have flipped the game.

The tape is out on Rush. He missed several targets and had bad interceptions. Never looking off his primary by manipulating the Eagles’ secondary. After five weeks, he has done more than his job.

He has exceeded expectations in the eyes of many, but he has serious flaws like all backup quarterbacks. That is why they are backups.

Cooper Rush is a good backup QB and nothing is wrong with that.

Grade: F

Dallas Cowboys Run Defense

The Eagles set the tone in the first. They were the more physical football team. The second quarter, they pushed the Dallas Cowboys. Scoring 20 points against a Dallas defense, they had not allowed a single team to score more than 20 points an entire game.

Miles Sanders led the rushing attack with a team high of 71 yards and the Eagles finished with 136 total yards on the ground. Held under their average of 160 rushing yards per game, but too many big runs were given up.

The key drive came after Dallas Cowboys Rookie TE Jake Ferguson snagged his 1st Career TD.

The Cowboys closed within 3 points and the defense, many considered elite, couldn’t get the Eagles off the field when the moment arrived. Instead, the Dallas defense were bullied as the Eagles widen their lead to 26-17.

Grade: C

Dallas Cowboys Pass Defense

The Dallas pass rush got cooking in the second half, sacking Jalen Hurts four times and limiting the big pass plays to only two completions of more than 20 yards.

Jalen Hurts was 15 for 25 for 155 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Not great, but no turnovers. He walked away, not being forced to win the game with his arm.

The Dallas Cowboys held the duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in check, but they still combined for 111 yards on 10 receptions and each scored a touchdown.

Grade: B

Dallas Cowboys Special Teams

KaVontae Turpin is explosive with big game ability to change the shift of a game. His 63-yard kickoff return served up the only score in the first half for the Dallas Cowboys. It was a big gain that could have been bigger if his teammate Kelvin Joseph didn’t run into him.

Two penalties, one wiping out a 38-yard punt return. Just a bad night for the second-year player.


Dallas Cowboys Coaching

A coaching staff that pushed all the right buttons the last 4 weeks failed in some key moments. Head Coach Mike McCarthy should’ve tossed the flagged and challenged a CeeDee Lamb catch that was ruled short in the second quarter.

The fourth down play that failed, resulting in the Eagles scoring a field goal early in the game, was an act of desperation. In a game that was still very winnable, points were the price of gold Sunday night.

The second half adjustments by Kellen Moore. The bootlegs off of play action helped Kellen Moore to get into a grove.

Dan Quinn unit couldn’t get the Eagles off the field during the game-clinching drive.


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Dallas made too many mistakes. But it was a game, they could have easily folded, and they didn’t, showing a lot of true grit. Moral victories don’t mean anything in the standing, but Dallas should feel good about themselves. They played a bad game and still had an opportunity to win on the road.

Dak Prescott is coming back. The defense is not elite, but it is a strong unit. Plenty of football still left to be played.