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Blame Game: Top 5 Culprits Responsible for Cowboys Back to Back Losses

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Hegawha? Hegamin! #69 Belongs To George Hegamin. 2

We are nearly a third of the way through the 2019 season and the Dallas Cowboys are currently 3-2 after back-to-back losses. Despite all the rumblings and grumblings around Cowboys Nation, this is pretty much how we expected things to go down, at least as far as wins and losses are concerned. But, that doesn't mean we don't expect better.

Anyway you slice it, the majority of us are frustrated with the way this years Cowboys team has played. They've looked brilliant at times, but at others they've looked undisciplined and self-destructing. That's where the majority of the frustration lies right now.

With that in mind I thought I would go ahead and feed that frustration "monster" because nobody really wants to look on the positive side of things after losing two consecutive games, especially winnable ones. That's why I thought I'd try something new and play a game with all of you… the BLAME GAME.

Here's how this will work…

Naturally, I will be the host and will give out different clues in order to help you try to figure out who that particular culprit is. The clues could be completely random or spot on. It's completely at my discretion as to how detailed, or not, I go into describing each of these culprits. At the end of the article I will provide the answers. Try not to cheat.

Want to play? Good! Let's get started…

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Culprit #1

  • Former NFL player turned coach
  • Has been a part of numerous championship teams
  • Former quarterback
  • Has held the title of Offensive Coordinator in the NFL
  • Married with children

Culprit #2

  • Fantastic leader with a likable personality
  • Has been in numerous commercials
  • Came out of nowhere to become a starter
  • Still playing under a rookie contract
  • Was born in Louisiana

Culprit #3

  • Former NFL player turned coach
  • Was a backup on several teams in his NFL career
  • Has a Super Bowl ring
  • Leader of men
  • Infectious personality

Culprit #4

  • Ball of energy
  • Teammates feed off of his production
  •  Member of several championship teams
  • One of highest-paid at his position
  • Comes from a family of athletes

Culprit #5

  • Former NFL player turned coach
  • Mostly a backup for several teams in his NFL career
  • Has a Super Bowl ring
  • Has held the title of Offensive Coordinator in the NFL
  • Loves to clap

Okay, so there are your clues. Some of them are obviously easier than others. I hope each and every clue makes you think a little bit about who that particular culprit is and why they could be responsible, at least partly, for the Dallas Cowboys 3-2 start this year.


Are you ready for the answers? Do you know the identity to each culprit?

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Answer Key

Culprit #1 - Kellen Moore

At times this season Kellen Moore has been a breath of fresh air since taking over as OC for the Dallas Cowboys. But, he still trying to figure out the right balance of pass/run and I believe it's hurt the offense at times this season, especially the last two games. I do believe he will get better, although we may see a little more bumps in the road before he does so.

Culprit #2 - Dak Prescott

I doubt anybody was surprised to see Prescott's name make the cut in the BLAME GAME. There's no denying he's improved as a passer thus far this season, but recently he's been throwing it to the wrong team far too often. His recent interception streak has unfortunately given some good teams extra opportunities to put points on the board which has led to the Cowboys two game losing streak.

Culprit #3 - Kris Richard

The impact Richard had on the team last year in his first season with the Dallas Cowboys couldn't have gone better if it had been scripted. His infectious/fiery attitude provided the spark the defense needed, so much so he eventually took over the defensive playcalling from Rod Marinelli. It was expected he would help take the defense to a different level this year, but so far it looks as if they may have regressed.

Culprit #4 - Ezekiel Elliott

It may surprise you, but Ezekiel Elliott is currently off to the slowest start in his career. He has the fewest amount of carries (85) and rushing yards (386) of his career through the first five games of the season. The games so far this season has dictated his amount of touches, but there's no denying the Cowboys are at their best when No. 21 is allowed to eat. Either Zeke has to be more productive on lesser touches or Dallas needs to get him more involved, because without his usual production they are losing.

Culprit #5 - Jason Garrett

Out of all the clues I gave for all of the different culprits above, Jason Garrett's might have been the most obvious. Did the clapping thing give him away? Regardless, he may be the most responsible for the Cowboys 3-2 start this season. As a head coach, he couldn't ask for a more talented roster. Unfortunately, his team isn't playing up to their talent right now. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot with numerous penalties and turnovers and that lack of discipline falls on Garrett's shoulders.

Well, what do you think? Did you enjoy the BLAME GAME? Should it continue?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Report: Cowboys G Connor Williams to Undergo Arthroscopic Knee Surgery, Expected to Miss a Few Weeks

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Cowboys G Connor Williams to Undergo Arthroscopic Knee Surgery, Expected to Miss a Few Weeks

The Dallas Cowboys received a bit of bad news today. According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Guard Connor Williams will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.


Todd Archer on Twitter

Connor Williams will have surgery on his knee Tuesday but the hope is he will be able to return after a few weeks. Xavier Su'a-Filo will likely move into the left guard role, which is how the Cowboys handled Williams' absence last year because of a knee... https://t.co/M55eVtYCIJ

Williams suffered the injury in Sunday's 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This is a minor procedure but will keep Williams sidelined for a few weeks. Backup Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is expected to fill in during his absence, just like he did in 2018 when Williams missed time with a knee issue. More to come.


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Game Notes

Jason Garrett Reminds Everyone That Kellen Moore Calls the Plays

Jess Haynie

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Jason Garrett, Kellen Moore

There's a lot of blame game being played around the Dallas Cowboys right now after a demoralizing home loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Even the head coach seems to be getting in on the act as Jason Garrett went out of character and got unusually specific in explaining Kellen Moore's responsibility for play-calling.

Garrett is not known for calling people out. In fact, many fans have criticized him for not being more critical of his players. He tends to speak in vague, nebulous terms when it comes to discussing the Cowboys' weaknesses or failings after a loss.

But in a radio appearance this morning, Garrett didn't mince words on who was deciding the plays during the Cowboys' final drive.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Jason Garrett on @1053thefan on the two run plays late: "Kellen's calling the game. In that situation it's 2nd and 2. He felt like he had a good opportunity against a favorable box to run the ball in those situations. On each of those plays we had options beyond just the run.

Jason did try to excuse his offensive coordinator's decisions with some context, but he also made sure to clarify who was responsible for those calls. It was not very Garrett-like, and it may speak to his own growing frustration and concern over his future.


Garrett is on the final year of his contract and the Cowboys' front office has made it clear that any extension depends on the results of the 2019 season. With Dallas now dropping to 5-4 and only leading the division by a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Philadelphia Eagles, the future is increasingly unclear.

Jason Garrett famously uses "we" and "us" terms when talking about the negatives, not wanting to assign blame to any particular player or person when things aren't going well. That he strayed from this well-established behavior today may be an anomaly, but it shouldn't be ignored.

With a tough second-half stretch coming in this 2019 schedule, Garrett may be starting to feel like a dead man walking. We'll see in the coming weeks if this leads to anymore shifts in his usual demeanor with the media.


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Game Notes

Dallas Cowboys Good, Bad, and Ugly from Week 10 Against Vikings

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Good, Bad, and Ugly from Week 10 Against Vikings

Well Cowboys Nation, the Dallas Cowboys let yet another winnable game slip to their grasp Sunday night after the devastating 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. By my count, that's three out of four games the Cowboys probably should have won this season. But, probably… maybe… and should have don't mean diddly squat in the NFL.

I'm not going to beat around the bush today because I would likely end up going into a long winded rant about what took place last night. So, let's go ahead and jump right into this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. As always, please feel free to use the comment section to voice your opinions and thoughts on the subject.

The Good

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Unlike in weeks past, I had absolutely no problem deciding what to go with this week for this category from the Dallas Cowboys Week 10 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. I don't think anyone would argue that the good had to be Quarterback Dak Prescott's play and the Cowboys overall passing game. This unit was the sole reason they had a chance to win at the end.

Prescott was simply phenomenal Sunday night. He threw for 397 yards, three touchdowns, and only one interception. He was on point last night and was dropping dimes all over the place. It's one of the reasons why both Amari Cooper (147 yards, 1 TD) and Randall Cobb (106, 1 TD) both went over the 100 yard mark in receiving, and Michael Gallup wasn't too far behind (76 yards, 1 TD). All in all it's an MVP caliber performance from No. 4, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to seal the victory.


The Bad

Brett Maher

Dallas Cowboys K Brett Maher

I thought and thought about what I wanted to go with in this category and I'll have to admit, I had a hard time deciding. There were individual players who deserved a nomination here, but in the end I think the bad for the Dallas Cowboys was them getting off to yet another slow start against the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, it's been a trend for them this season.

It all started when Jason Garrett decided to send out Kicker Brett Maher to attempt an ill-advised 57 yard field goal. Maher is capable of making such kicks, but there's a time and place to use that kind of weapon. Last night on the opening drive of the game was not one of those times. After the missed FG, the Vikings had excellent field position and scored a quick TD. Not long after they scored another TD to go up 14-0 after another stalled drive by the Cowboys offense. It's a hole they were never quite able to dig themselves out of.

The Ugly

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

Deciding what to go with here in this category was pretty easy after narrowing down what I wanted to put in the bad category. I think the ugly for the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings was their defensive play. In all honesty, it was absolutely sickening to watch the Vikings have their way with the Cowboys defense. Dallas has far too much talent on that side of the ball to be manhandled like they were.

The tackling was atrocious and so was the execution. I'm pretty sure the game plan was to neutralize Dalvin Cook the way they did Saquon Barkley in Week 9, but the league's leading rusher (Cook) would have none of that. He pretty much did what he wanted. He ran through arm tackles and had room to run, whether it was as a rusher or receiver. It looked a lot like what Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones did to the Cowboys in Week 5. It was completely inexcusable and unacceptable!

What is your good, bad, and ugly from the Dallas Cowboys Week 10 matchup?


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