For the first time since 2015, the Dallas Cowboys dropped a game to the Washington Redskins while dropping a game and a half out of first place in the NFC East in the process. Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys offense had a chance to tie the game, but Brett Maher missed a 52 yard field goal, which would have sent the game into overtime.
While the missed kick is what prevented them from tying the game, what happened leading up to the field goal attempt had just as much to do with the Cowboys taking home an L as anything else. And no, I'm not talking about the penalty enforced on L.P. Ladouceur.
The Dallas Cowboys had enough time to try to drive the field for either a game-tying field goal or if things fell right, a go ahead touchdown. Once they got into field goal range, they took the foot off the gas and eliminated any opportunity to try to take the lead.
Let's look at how the drive unfolded.
1st and 10 at Dallas 36 - 1:09 to Play
Incomplete Pass to Dalton Schultz
The Dallas Cowboys got the ball back with a time out and a little more than a minute to play. It's beyond my understanding why the Dallas Cowboys had Dalton Schultz on the field with under two minutes to play in a game that was essentially a must win.
I know that the Dallas Cowboys love to run 11 personnel in obvious passing situations. It's all the craze in the NFL now. Like Pogs were in middle school. I get that most teams run 11 as their base package, but when you're in a must score situation with under two minutes to play, Dalton Schultz is not one of your best four receiving options.
They lined up Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Cole Beasley along with Schultz when they could have had Deonte Thompson out there to give them some run after catch ability.
It's inexcusable to me to have a rookie tight end, who was suiting up for his first NFL game, on the field in crunch time because you don't have any 10-personnel packages (1 RB, 4 WR, 0 TE). Scott Linehan is calling plays and constructing formations like they still have Jason Witten on the team. News flash, Scott, you don't.
You'd think that at a time when they need their best playmakers on the field, that they'd have some packages that would get their four best receiving options on the field.
2nd and 10 at Dallas 36 - 1:04
Incompete Pass to Cole Beasley
At least Dak Prescott goes to his go-to-guy on this play as he goes to Beasley and barely overthrows him. It wasn't the best throw by Prescott who was under pressure. Had he hit Beasley, there's a great chance for yards after catch.
3rd and 10 at Dallas 36 - 0:59
18 Yard Completion to Cole Beasley
After back to back incomplete passes to start the drive, Dak Prescott finds Cole Beasley for an 18 yard gain to get the Cowboys into Washington territory.
This was the biggest play of the drive. Big time, accurate throw to Beasley who makes a contested catch in double coverage that picks up a first down and puts the Cowboys just outside of field goal range.
1st and 10 at Washington 46 - 0:52
Nine Yard Completion to Cole Beasley
Because Cole Beasley got out-of-bounds and Washington Redskins Corner Back Fabian Moreau was injured, the clock stops and the Dallas Cowboys get a moment to catch their breath and game plan the next couple of plays.
If you needed anymore evidence about who is Dak's go-to-guy, it's Cole Beasley. He comes right back to him. Prescott finds Cole Beasley for a nine yard gain to get the Dallas Cowboys into field goal range.
Cole Beasley catches the ball and is ruled down by contact with 45 seconds remaining in the game. How in the world it took them 17 seconds to get to the line of scrimmage is really hard to understand. As a team, if the receiver gets tackled in bounds, you know you have to hurry to the line of scrimmage to either get another play off or to spike it. The Cowboys take their time and prevent themselves from being able to run at least a play or two to get them a more favorable field goal attempt.
Instead, the Cowboys take 17 precious seconds of the clock and now have less than 30 seconds remaining.
2nd and 1 at Washington 37 - 0:28
Six Yard Completion to Cole Beasley
This is where you figured out that Head Coach Jason Garrett was playing for the tie. The Cowboys were able to pick up the first down on a quick pass to Cole Beasley, but then took way too much time getting to the line of scrimmage for the next play.
After Cole Beasley makes the catch and is tackled, there was roughly 24 seconds left on the clock. They took another 12 seconds to get to the line of scrimmage to run the next play. They weren't prepared and because they weren't prepared, they didn't have a ton of time left to run a play. If they get to the line faster, perhaps they leave themselves more time to get the ball up field to make Brett Maher's kick more manageable.
The catch went under review and so the Cowboys get yet another opportunity to regroup and come up with a play to get them further down the field.
Instead they do the following.
1st and 10 at Washington 31 - 0:12
Three Yard Run by Ezekiel Elliott
This is the biggest give up play of the night. With 12 seconds left and a timeout, the coaching staff takes the ball out of their quarterback's hands -- who just drove them into field goal range -- and they give it to Ezekiel Elliott who picks up roughly three yards on the play. They had time to throw a short pass to try to pick up some yardage. With a timeout in their pocket, Dak could have even thrown it to the middle of the field to get Brett Maher into a better position.
Instead, the coaching staff plays scared and leaves Maher with a 47 yard field goal attempt. On a day where the wind had been a factor in the passing game, 47 yards is hardly a gimme.
2nd and 8 at Washington 28 - 0:03
Five Yard Penalty Against L.P. Ladouceur for a Snap Infraction
The penalty puts them at the Washington 33 with three seconds left in the game.
There are a lot of things we can say about the missed game-tying field goal attempt.
Though the penalty was bogus and Brett Maher should have made it, the biggest issue, in my humble opinion, was how the drive went to get to this point. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff didn't put their team in the best position to win the game, let alone tie.
Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and the Dallas Cowboys were super conservative once they got into field goal range. It was like they didn't even consider trying to score a touchdown at that point, which for someone who has long been a defender of Jason Garret, is a problem.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
I've long been a believer that Jason Garrett is a head coach that could win this team a championship based on the way he gets his players to play. On Sunday, however, he coached like an NHL coach that was on the road and just hoping to squeeze out a point with a tie. That's twice in two weeks that Garrett played conservatively with a chance to win the game and he cost his kicker a chance at a shorter, more makeable field goal. Play aggressively and it's possible he's kicking at worst a 45 yarder, even after the penalty.
Instead, Maher has to kick a 52 yarder with swirling winds and is unable to squeeze it inside the left upright. Now the Dallas Cowboys are 3-4 and need to go on a serious run over the last nine games to have a shot at making the playoffs.
The Brady Report: Cowboys Offense Dominant Despite Slow Start
The Dallas Cowboys followed up their dominant performance last week with yet another blowout divisional win on Sunday, defeating the Washington Redskins 31-21.
While the Cowboys controlled the game for much of the last three quarters, they actually got off to a slow start in Washington. Once again they fell behind to a lesser team 7-0 early, before scoring on nearly every possession to finish off the game.
Let's get into my game notes from the Cowboys' week two win.
- We have to start these game notes by talking about Dak Prescott. The Cowboys franchise quarterback was incredible for the second straight week to open this season. Despite the early interception, Prescott continued to look poised and calm in the pocket, allowing him to deliver a dime to Devin Smith for the team's first touchdown. Prescott was picking apart the Redskins secondary during the final three quarters to the tune of 269 yards and three touchdowns. Plus, he was very effective as a runner, including his dynamic 42 yard run on third down and one with the game still tied. If Dak is going to play like this, the Cowboys can beat anyone.
- Ezekiel Elliott looked a lot more comfortable Sunday than he did against the Giants. Not only were his raw numbers better, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown, he was back to his ways of falling forward and avoiding the first tackler. He still didn't really explode the way we all know he can, which means opposing defenses should be scared when considering what the Cowboys offense's full potential could be.
- Which receiver didn't ball out Sunday? Michael Gallup seems to be developing an awesome rapport with Prescott, Amari Cooper continues to prove he's a legit WR1, Randall Cobb was once again effective on swing passes and in the slot, and even Devin Smith had himself a monster game. If Devin Smith is going to be the speed deep threat he was against Washington, look out.
- Ok, now that I've congratulated the majority of the offense, let's talk about the one guy who I'm sure would've liked to have a better day. Left guard Connor Williams. The second year guard was solid overall Sunday, but was abused by Daron Payne from time to time. Most notably, Payne went right through Williams both to force Prescott's interception and on the only sack of the game. Williams has to be better going forward, because he is the clear weak link across this dynamic offensive line right now. Luckily, as a whole, this line has been very good through two games.
- Defensively, things could've gone better for the Cowboys. While a lot of the production through the air came through garbage time, Terry McLaurin was still too effective down the field. Chris Thompson was also getting too much YAC against these defenders. Anthony Brown had a rough day in the slot, missing multiple tackles and not being too great in coverage either. Jourdan Lewis, however, did have himself a good game in limited snaps. Both he and Byron Jones made impressive open field tackles on third downs.
- The Cowboys run defense stepped up from a week ago. The tackling of their front seven overall improved as the game went on, and they held Adrian Peterson to just 25 yards on the ground. Part of this was because of how quickly the Cowboys got to their 21-7 lead in the third quarter, but they were solid nonetheless.
- Dallas' pass rush will benefit greatly from Robert Quinn's return next week against Miami. DeMarcus Lawrence created a couple big pressures on Sunday, but Quinn's presence should help free him up a bit to create more of a consistent pass rush.
Dallas Cowboys Good, Bad, and Ugly From Week 2 Against the Redskins
It's still a bit early in the 2019 season, but the Dallas Cowboys ability to go into hostile territory and come away with a victory against the Washington Redskins is a big win. Not only does America's Team remain undefeated to start the season, but they also now sit atop the NFC East in sole possession of the division.
The Dallas Cowboys again got off to a slow start Sunday afternoon against the Redskins but showed their resiliency by continuing to battle throughout the game. I expected a slobber knocker type of game considering the way these two teams battle it out every time they square off against one another and they certainly didn't disappoint. However, it was the Cowboys who prevailed in the end with the 31-21 victory.
But enough with the rehashing of yet another impressive Cowboys win. Let's get to the point of this article and dive into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly this week from the Week 2 matchup against the Washington Redskins.
I really wanted to go with Wide Receiver Devin Smith here this week because he had an impressive game against the Washington Redskins and ended up leading the team in receiving yards (74 yards, 1 TD), but I'm just going to give him a shout out instead. I think the good deservedly goes to Quarterback Dak Prescott. He continues to show he has taken the next step in his development, which is making the Dallas Cowboys offense one of the more lethal units in the NFL.
It may have taken a little while for the Cowboys offense to get going, but when it did it was because Prescott took charge. Once again he looked really good in the passing game, completing 26 of 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. His efficiency throwing the ball was awfully impressive, but so was his five rushes for 69 yards on the ground. His only little blemish on the day was the unfortunate interception that just so happened to bounce the right way for the Redskins. Overall though, Dak handled more than his share Sunday and did it really well.
Deciding what to put in this category each week is never an easy task. I absolutely hate singling out a single person, but this week I'm going to have to point my finger at Left Guard Connor Williams. He's my nomination for the bad this week due to the penalties he had at the most inopportune times. Last week Zack Martin did the same thing against the Giants and rebounded. Hopefully, Williams can do the same.
Although I put Williams in the section, I think the penalties the Dallas Cowboys piled up throughout the game against the Redskins probably deserve more attention than I'm giving them. It was a sloppy game from start to finish due to the amount of yellow flags flying Sunday afternoon, but it's kind of to be expected considering they are playing a divisional opponent and how early it still is in the 2019 season. Let's just hope the amount of laundry flying from now on is minimal to none.
For the second week in a row the Dallas Cowboys defense has failed to live up to the expectations many of us have had for them entering the 2019 season. For that reason alone I think they were the ugly from Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins. They really need to step up their game if they want to live up to the aspirations that we not only all have for them, but they have for themselves.
I honestly don't think the Redskins offense is all that much better than the Giants, who the Cowboys made look better than they truly are last week. I think they did the same thing in this Week 2 matchup as well. They are really struggling to bottle up the running game like they did last year. They're also giving too much cushion in the passing game and have allowed too many easy completions underneath. Hopefully they can bounce back next week against the Miami Dolphins, but if not we should all be really concerned.
What is your Good, Bad, and Ugly from the Cowboys victory over the Redskins?
DAL 31, WAS 21: Dak Prescott Dominant In Comfortable Win
Fourth year quarterback Dak Prescott is up for a new contract t this offseason, and he's playing like he knows it.
After putting up a perfect passer rating in the Cowboys' season opening win, he was once again excellent today. Prescott threw for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also ran for 69 yards on 5 attempts to lead the Cowboys to their 31-21 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Prescott spread the ball around to a multitude of different targets. Tight end Jason Witten caught his second touchdown of the year, Amari Cooper had yet another touchdown as well, Michael Gallup went for 68 yards on 6 catches, and even Devin Smith had a huge day to lead the team in receiving. Ezekiel Elliott eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark for the first time this season, and got himself a rushing touchdown as well to seal the deal.
Defensively, the Cowboys were not as impressive. While the final statistics are skewed due to garbage time yards and scoring, this defense felt like they were on their heels the entire afternoon. DeMarcus Lawrence came up with a couple big pressures, but outside of Tyrone Crawford's first half sack the Cowboys didn't create many problems for Redskins quarterback Case Keenum.
This defense will need to tighten up if they are to contend with the elite offenses they'll have to face around the NFC going forward.
Dallas is now 2-0 on the season, with both wins coming over division opponents. Of course, they've dominated the two worst teams in the division, and both match-ups with the Philadelphia Eagles still loom large later in this season.
Regardless, the Cowboys are off to an excellent start to their 2019 campaign, and get to come home to play the lowly Miami Dolphins next Sunday.
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