Dak Prescott gave it everything he had today, but he and the Dallas Cowboys simply had no chance.
After a fantastic play by Anthony Brown forced an Xavier Woods interception, Prescott ran it in from a few yards out to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead. Atlanta quickly cut it to 7-3, where the score would hold for much of the first half.
But as the injuries piled up for the Cowboys, and they were left without Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, and Ezekiel Elliott, they had no answers for the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn sacked Prescott six times, each time after beating replacement left tackles Chaz Green and Byron Bell. There is no way to sugar coat it, Green was awful today. On most snaps he offered little resistance, and put Prescott at risk of injury on every play. When Bell came in for relief, he was just as bad.
With the hits piling up and Prescott having no chance, the Cowboys offense struggled to score just 7 points. If not for the early interception, the Cowboys might have been shut out today.
As putrid as the offense was, the defense was no better. With Sean Lee out after just a few minutes, the Falcons exploited the Cowboys’ weak linebackers. Atlanta ran and passed the ball with ease en route to 27 points.
Dallas now falls to 5-4, and considering how good the rest of the NFC has been, will have difficulty getting into the playoffs. The next few games are critical to the Cowboys if they hope to make any type of run into January.
Next week, the Cowboys will face the 8-1 division leading Philadelphia Eagles. And if both Tyron Smith and Sea Lee are out once again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where this goes well for the Cowboys.