Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys fell to a 1-3 record after losing 49-38 to the Cleveland Browns at home, you read that right. It seems like it will be another year and another disappointing, talented, yet underachieving Cowboys team. Where to even start on this team is a great question. I want to start at the top which is ownership.
Jerry Jones is probably the most powerful owner not only in football but in all sports. At this point, he’s more of a liability to this team and it couldn’t be more clear. It took him over a decade to finally separate himself from head coach Jason Garett who led this team to mediocre after mediocre season despite the talent they had, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. It’s crazy to think that at this point, they would be in better shape with Garrett rather than super bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy. To put it nicely, he has shown no signs of confidence in his coaching staff or players, and it only seems to be getting worse.
This offense is still clearly very talented and can easily score 30-40 points on most teams, but what does it matter if there’s absolutely no help on the other side of the ball. In the last three games, the offense has scored 39, 38, and 38 points. They are 0-3 in those games, which is simply mind-blowing. This offense isn’t perfect by the way, they are having turnover issues that usually come at the start of games and sets the defense up to get destroyed, but we can’t pretend like this is an offensive problem.
Without the incompetence of the Atlanta Falcons, this football team should probably be 0-4 which is just flat out disgusting. The one person who deserves absolutely no blame is QB Dak Prescott. He now leads the league in passing yards with 1,690 yards, which by the way, is the most in NFL history through the first four games of a season. He is certainly not perfect, but please let me know any QB who could survive this with an absolutely useless unit of a defense.
Not too mention, at the beginning of the season, head coach Mike McCarthy stated very clearly that running back Ezekiel Elliott was still the focal point of the offense. That is the complete opposite of what I and many others have seen so far. Any game where Zeke has under 20 carries is a recipe for disaster. There really is not a lot to complain about with this offense besides that point.
Now onto the defense, which is shockingly terrible and in my opinion, by far the worst in the league after four weeks. It may not be statistically yet, but the eye test certainly says so. How is it possible that Baker Mayfield only throws for 160 yards and the Browns still put up 49 points on you? It is simple, they couldn’t stop the run and it seems to be getting worse every week.
Even if they found a way to stop the run, the secondary is just as bad; moreover, there is no sign of confidence in any aspect of this defensive unit and it’s only making DC Mike Nolan and Mike McCarthy look worse week in and week out. We expect the same approach next week against a very poor giants offense. I mean, if they can’t stop that Giants team, there is absolutely no hope for this team. The only hope right now is how the offense looks and how much of a mess the NFC east is as a division, with the 1-2-1 Eagles in first place at the moment. That is certainly nothing to be proud of for this team and there is no sign of anything getting better.
Next week they have a home game against division rival New York Giants. If there are few teams worse than the Cowboys right now, this is certainly one of them, you would think anyways. This team should be looking at three things going into next Sunday:
The first thing is on the offensive side which is to get Ezekiel Elliott involved more. If you saw what he did in week 1 vs the Rams, he certainly has the ability to take over the game. As good as Dak has been, there is absolutely no reason that he should be throwing over 50 times a game. They need to find a way to make Zeke the main point of this offense as they did in the first four seasons of his career.
The next thing that needs to happen before Sunday is the defensive changes. They need to find a way to create turnovers, which they only have 2 of all season. This can make the offense be on the field for a longer amount of time, which only good things happen for the most part when this is the case.
The final thing is also on the defensive side of the ball which is to stop the run or pass. Try to focus on at least one of these and maybe the points will start to go down. Right now, the Cowboys can’t do either one of those, limiting just one of them may give them some hope. If they go from letting up 40 points to maybe 30 points, they actually could win a good amount of football games. In other words, they should be aiming to be bad instead of horrible.
It truly is sad that this is the last resort for success for this Cowboys team, but I can’t say I’m surprised. When you have an owner and GM who refuse to make changes and adapt to any situation, you are going to get similar results week in and week out, and year in and year out. Sadly, this has been the Dallas Cowboys’ motto for the better part of two decades now.