One of the big lessons in life is to learn from your mistakes so you never make them again. It appears the Dallas Cowboys aren’t listening to this lesson.
Consistency is key when trying to make a push for a championship. The Dallas Cowboys look like they are having some problems that are preventing them from being consistent.
There are two things that Dallas has had a problem with this season. That is a slow offense to start the game, and trouble containing the opposing running back. Let me elaborate a little bit.
Slow Start to the Offense
It is very important for a team’s offense to play the entire game, starting with the first snap. This is because putting up more points can open up the playbook, take the pressure off the whole team, and well there is no such thing as too much offense.
The Cowboys are fortunate enough to have a very mentally tough quarterback in Dak Prescott. He has done his best to play great at the end of games to make up for a poor start. It’s good that he can step up, but is not something that the Cowboys should rely on every week.
There are only two games where Dallas scored double-digit points in the first quarter and three games where they entered halftime without scoring double-digit points. This led to the three losses in a row from Week 4-6 and contributed to the loss this past Sunday.
The Minnesota Vikings put up 14 points before Dallas was able to put up their first score. Had kicker Brett Maher not missed his 57-yard kick then Dallas would at least have three points to the Vikings 14, then becoming 10 when Dallas scores their touchdown in the second quarter.
Regardless, they were unable to capitalize on their opportunity, which played a role in their loss. The same could be said about a turnover on downs at the New York Jets‘ seven-yard line. This game was lost by three points.
If Dallas can put together their offense at the beginning of their upcoming games, then they are much more likely to win games. If not, then Dak is going to need to make more comebacks.
Stopping the Running Back
Running backs have had great games against the Cowboys this season. Aaron Jones, Dalvin Cook, and Saquon Barkley torched the defense. Dallas was able to beat Barkley in both matchups but did lose to Cook and Jones.
In Week 1, Saquon had 10.91 yards per rushing attempt against the Cowboys, but he did not score a touchdown. Even after taking away his 59-yard breakaway, he would have averaged 6.1 yards per rushing attempt.
Jones went off for 182 total yards and four rushing touchdowns. He was able to run the ball effectively, as well as catch the ball and run through defenders. It is important to note that three of the four touchdowns were from five or fewer yards, while the other was an18-yard run.
Cook had 183 yards and one rushing touchdown. He was breaking tackles, ankles, and made sure he fell forward every time. To be fair, Cook has been torching every defense he lined up against.
Although Dallas held running back Alvin Kamara to only 69 yards, he did manage to have a modest 4.06 yards per rushing attempt. A similar statement can be said about Jordan Howard who had only 50 yards but 4.55 yards per rushing attempt.
Overall, the Cowboys rushing defense is just average. They rank 14th in rushing yards per game and are tied for 15th in rushing touchdowns. At the same time, Dallas gave up more than 50 receiving yards to running backs in three games this season.
The Cowboys’ passing defense is one of the best in the league. With the roster that they have, they should be able to clean up how they defend the run and truly become one of the best overall defenses in the league.
As of right now, they are in the talks of being one of the better defenses. They need to go ahead and take that step to solidify themselves among the best. Improving the run defense numbers is needed to do so.