Flat, unprepared, and uninspired. Those are just three of the words that can best describe the Dallas Cowboys effort in yesterday's showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles as they looked to clinch the NFC East and punch their ticket to the playoffs. After their most impressive showing of the season a week ago vs the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys had all the momentum and motivation they needed in order to secure their spot in the postseason.
Unfortunately, this game would be a microcosm of the entire 2019 season for the Cowboys. The sense of urgency seemed to be pretty nonexistent, which was mind-blowing considering they could've locked up the four seed in the NFC. Carson Wentz completed 31 of his 40 passes for 319 yards and the Eagles ran for 118 yards as a team. More importantly, the Eagles controlled the clock and tempo of the game possessing the football for over 36 minutes.
Those shortcomings only paint the picture of how small the defense for the Cowboys played in this game, but it spread to the offense as well. They were only 3 of 14 on third down, managed just 54 yards rushing and for the second time this season they were held without a touchdown. Also, the Cowboys receivers were credited with six dropped passes. This from a unit that came into the game with the league's top-ranked offense, the number two passer in terms of yardage and a top-five rusher.
This season has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. They've had multiple three-game losing streaks and have currently lost four of their last five games. Now, they sit at 7-8 and are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go. The only way they can get in is to defeat the Washington Redskins next week and hope the Eagles lose to the New York Giants, a team that's lost nine of its last 11 games.
What's truly frustrating is how a team can have so much talent yet continuously come up short when it matters the most. They returned virtually everyone from a top 10 defense in 2018. Offensively, they have two receivers over 1,000 yards, a running back on pace for over 1,300 yards and a quarterback that will finish with nearly 5,000 yards passing. Even with that being said, this team has a losing record and have to rely on another team to help them make the playoffs when they perfectly had everything under their own control.
The Cowboys have become the NFL's biggest enigma. One week, they look like they can play with any of the top teams in the league. The next, it's as if they just started playing football a week ago. With a roster that is easily one of the best from a talent perspective, it simply leaves you scratching your head when you watch the Cowboys perform from week to week. It will take a mini-miracle for this team to make the playoffs now, and even if it happens, how can there be any confidence they'd even win a game? That's just one of the many questions about this team during what has been a truly frustrating 2019 season.