In their 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day, the Dallas Cowboys were dominated in every facet of the game. It was another in a long line of frustrating losses for a team that was once considered a Super Bowl contender. As things stand now, they’ll be fortunate to win enough games to make the playoffs.
There was very little positive to take away from that game as the Bills controlled the Cowboys in each facet of the game. Where the Cowboys offense might have had some success, they turned the ball over and struggled to provide Dak Prescott with adequate protection.
Sure, Prescott threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns, but the Cowboys inability to make that count by getting into the end zone more is a microcosm of how this season has gone.
The Bills defense swarmed Prescott all afternoon and got him for four sacks, including two by rookie Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver. Prescott also threw an interception and lost a fumble.
The run game looked good early, but with the Cowboys getting behind by a 23-7 deficit in the second half, there wasn’t a lot of time to keep a balanced attack going.
On defense, the Cowboys struggled against Josh Allen who had a very efficient day going 19 of 24 for 231 yards and a touchdown. He also added 41 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown rushing to complete a really nice game for the Bills’ second year quarterback.
Rookie Running Back Devin Singletary has a really nice game. He totaled 101 total yards on 17 touches and caught a touchdown pass on the Bills trick play in the second quarter.
In addition to Allen and Singletary’s really good games, former Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Cole Beasley had a huge game against his former team. He caught six passes on seven targets for 110 yards and a touchdown.
If the offense and the defense underperforming wasn’t bad enough, the special teams failed to show up yet again. Brett Maher missed two kicks — one being blocked — and the Cowboys still get next to nothing in the return game.
It was a terrible performance for the Cowboys. This team failed to win any of the three phases of the game; offense, defense, or special teams. In most games this year, one phase of the team was able to cover up some deficiencies with the other unit or units. It’s becoming all too common place an occurrence for Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys.
Garrett, since his promotion to Interim Head Coach during the 2010 season, has talked about the importance of being sound and disciplined in all three phases of the football game. In their loss to the Bills, the Cowboys were terrible in each of those three phases. That absolutely has to change.
The playoffs are still a real possibility, but this team has to find more consistent results from their offense, defense, and special teams. Good teams take advantage of your mistakes and the Cowboys haven’t been able to limit theirs. If they want to right the ship and make a run at the end of 2019, the Cowboys can’t expect much success when all three phases of the game are terrible.
Though Jerry Jones doesn’t look interested in making a change at the moment, Garrett’s failure to find consistent play in all three phases of the game is inexcusable. Especially since it has been one of his mantras for the last eight years.
Garrett and the Cowboys can redeem their owner’s faith by going on a run in December to reach the postseason. Regardless of what the future holds, this Cowboys team needs to get better. Otherwise, we’re staring another 8-8 season in the face.
After that performance, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dallas Cowboys move on from their head coach. Jones has said that he doesn’t want to make a coaching change during the season. A change in leadership could be just what the doctor ordered to galvanize this team and get them playing better football than we’ve seen from this season.
They have to get better as a whole and with just four games remaining, there’s no time to waste.