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Game Notes

DAL 33, WAS 19: Elliott, Irving Run Over Redskins

Jess Haynie



Ezekiel Elliott

Needing a win to stay perfect in the NFC East and stay on right side of .500, the Cowboys went into Washington to face the rival Redskins in heavy rain. Despite a slow start and a 13-7 deficit early. Dallas finished strong and put up a decisive 33-19 final score.

Ezekiel Elliott started the day with something he hadn't done all year, fumbling on his first carry. That was the only negative on the day, though, as Zeke finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. He dominated the offensive side for Dallas, which was all the more important because of the weather conditions.

On defense, David Irving had two sacks, some additional backfield disruption, and a tipped ball the set up the game-sealing interception by Byron Jones.  Irving now has five sacks in just three games since returning from his PED suspension. It's now hard to say who's more impressive between he and DeMarcus Lawrence, who added another sack to his breakout season today.

The pivotal moment in the game was a blocked field goal that Orlando Scandrick nearly returned for a touchdown, ultimately setting up Zeke's second touchdown. Washington was up 13-7 with the first half drawing to a close, but the 10-point swing seemed to shift the momentum completely to the Cowboys. Thankfully, they never gave it back.

Other Notes

  • Dak Prescott had a quiet day with just 143 yards, but that was clearly by design. The Cowboys wanted to keep the ball in Elliott's hands with the rain and it proved to be sound strategy.
  • Tyrone Crawford had a sack, his fourth of the year, and was the one who blocked the game-changing field goal. It's been a quietly solid season for Crawford, the team's highest-paid defensive player, and likely helped by the way Irving and Lawrence are playing.
  • For one week at least, Dallas survived the loss of Dan Bailey. Mike Nugent missed his first field-goal attempt but then made the next four. Given the conditions, he should have some good confidence headed into some tough games on the upcoming schedule.
  • The closing pick-six by Byron Jones was only his second interception so far in the NFL and his first touchdown.
  • Dallas will hope to keep the wins coming next week with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. How ironic; Dallas has to go through an Andy Reid team to try and keep pace with the Eagles.

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

1 Comment
  • Russ_Te

    I thought Irving’s natural NFL position was LDE, but he is finding ways at DT to be a true wrecking ball. The inconsistent play of last year seems to be gone.

    If the Cowboys lose Lawrence over the off season, the plan is probably to set Charlton up at LDE and leave Irving inside. That’s a lot of height to obstruct passing lanes.

    The expected double teams on Lawrence have arrived and the beneficiary seems to be Crawford. You cannot spend anyone extra on him, and after being invisible the last couple years the difference may be that he is finally healthy. This was his best game as a Cowboy IMO. Pivotal blocked FG and a strip-sack of Cousins. If this DL can get Collins to come alive now, it could really be potent.

    LG Cooper, not ready to declare a win there. But it looks better. RT Collins is still adjusting to the job IMO.

    The Cowboys did throw on 1st down early in the game and got some hits, and I think that is the formula right now. Just start with that, then the defense is afraid to load the box with 8 against Elliott. (same applies if Morris starts for 6 weeks).

    Nugent: Today was why you sign a veteran K if available. I didn’t want to try the 49-yarder in the rain for his first kick as a Cowboy. But the miss did not mess him up at all.

    I’ve been posting about Garrett having the biggest job right now, to get a 2-3 team with a porous secondary into contention. He’s getting it done so far.

Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Indianapolis

Brian Martin



The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Indianapolis

In a game we all hoped would clinch the NFC East division, the Dallas Cowboys instead got shut out by the Indianapolis Colts in one of their worst performances of the season. It was a deplorable performance in every aspect of the game and something we hope to never see again.

I knew sooner or later the Dallas Cowboys self-inflicted wounds would catch up to them, and that's exactly what happened against the Colts. They had far too many penalties and mental mistakes once again and it allowed Indianapolis to take over the game. The Cowboys beat themselves plain and simple.

Before I get on a rant about yesterday's game, I better stick to the topic at hand and share with you what I believe to be The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys. As always, please feel free to use the comment section located at the end of the article to share any of your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

The Good

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

In a game where just about everything went wrong for the Dallas Cowboys it sometimes a little difficult to find any kind of silver lining. That was the case this week after the Cowboys were shut out by the Indianapolis Colts. But, the good for me is that Dallas still holds their playoff fate in their hands, despite the embarrassing loss.

Any thoughts of sitting any of the starters for the Cowboys has now gone out the window. They absolutely have to play to win to close out the 2018 regular-season, because they failed to do what needed to be done against the Colts to secure the NFC East division title. Luckily though, it didn't close the door on their playoff aspirations.

With the Buccaneers and Giants left remaining on their schedule, the Cowboys will have to find some way to get back to their winning ways. Hopefully this was just the slap in the face they needed in order to put things in perspective. They simply can't afford another showing like they had against Indianapolis at any point moving forward.

The Bad

Xavier Su'a-flio

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-flio

I knew exactly what I was going to put in the section as soon as it happened during the game. The bad this week for the Dallas Cowboys against the Indianapolis Colts for me was without a doubt their banged up, patched together offensive line.

The Cowboys were forced to go with a patchwork offensive line for the majority of the game against the Colts yesterday afternoon after Xavier Su'a-flio left the game after an eye injury, forcing the Cowboys to go with their third string offensive guard Adam Redmond. Su'a-flio immediately had to leave the stadium to have his eye examined by an optometrist, suggesting that it was a pretty significant injury.

Unfortunately, another injury on the OL for the Cowboys leaves them severely thin depth wise at the most inopportune time. Hopefully a week of rest has done Zack Martin's injured knee some good and he will be able to return to the lineup as soon as possible. That would allow Connor Williams to move back to LG and hopefully solidify the offensive line once again.

The Ugly

Marlon Mack, Chidobe Awuzie

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack

Maybe I underestimated the Indianapolis Colts offense or maybe I just overrated the Dallas Cowboys defense, but something was clearly off yesterday afternoon on the defensive side of the ball for the Cowboys. After being so good nearly all season, they were just plain ugly against Indianapolis.

The Cowboys defense didn't have an answer for the Colts offense, especially in the running game. Marlon Mack, a solid runner although not spectacular, completely gashed the Cowboys usually stout run defense. He ran for 139 rushing yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns, something that's been unheard of against Dallas' run D.

I was honestly completely shocked he had so much success. There were far too many missed tackles and blown assignments to my liking and I believe the coaching staff will make sure to focus on clearing that up moving forward. This team can't afford to let opposing offenses control the clock with their rushing attack. That's the Cowboys MO.

What's your good, bad, and ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against Indianapolis?

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Game Notes

IND 23, DAL 0: Cowboys Get Shut Out, Embarrassed by Colts

Jess Haynie



Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

The Dallas Cowboys must think they've already won the NFC East, because they looked like a team with nothing to play for today. The result was an embarrassing 23-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Cowboys were shut out for the first time since the 2003 season, which was Jason Witten's rookie year.

Dallas squandered a major time-of-possession advantage in the first half, finishing three drives with a blocked field goal, punt, and a failed 4th-and-1 play near the Colts' goal line. Indianapolis capitalized on their own drives and took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

The Colts got the ball back to start the third quarter and drove down for another touchdown. Down 17-0, Dallas responded with a weak drive and a punt. The game felt out of reach even then, with the Cowboys just looking flat from that point forward.

Ezekiel Elliott had 87 rushing yards 41 receiving for some empty production. Amari Cooper won't be winning any awards this week, held to just four catches for 32 yards.

Dak Prescott completed 62% of his passes for 206 yards. He was sacked three times and threw a late interception; an overthrown ball got tipped by the receiver and picked off on the team's final offensive series.

While the offense was especially bad today, the defense wasn't much better. Dallas surrendered 139 yards rushing yards and two touchdown to Colts RB Marlon Mack, who hadn't had a 100-yard game since October. Andrew Luck wasn't sacked and went virtually untouched the entire day.

The Cowboys could have taken the NFC East with a win, but they didn't come close. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call with the postseason only a few weeks away.

Other Notes

  • With the Redskins defeating the Jaguars today, Dallas will have to wait until next week to try to clinch the NFC East. The Cowboys needed losses by both Washington and Philadelphia if they didn't win themselves. The Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.
  • The Cowboys will get some softer competition to finish the year, hosting the Buccaneers next week and then going to play the Giants in Week 17.
  • With the Bears defeating the Packers today and moving to 10-4, they will likely stay the #3 seed in the playoffs. That means Dallas, assuming they do win the NFC East, will almost certainly be hosting the 5th-seeded Seahawks in the first round.
  • Jaylon Smith led the Cowboys with 11 tackles, but neither he or Leighton Vander Esch were making the big plays that we've grown accustomed to.
  • Xavier Woods had the highlight play on defense, delivering a perfect hit to dislodge the ball from Colts TE Eric Ebron and stop a potential big gain.
  • Blake Jarin and Dalton Schultz combined for seven catches for 68 yards; another week of increased TE production from what we've seen must of the year.
  • Fullback Jamize Olawale doesn't get many opportunities on offense, and he may not get more after dropping an open touchdown on the team's second drive of the day.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Trailing Colts 10-0 at Halftime

Jess Haynie



Dak Prescott

The Cowboys have had no trouble moving the ball today, but they've failed to finish drives with points. Dallas is thus trailing the Indianapolis Colts 10-0 at halftime.

Dallas has had possession for over 19 minutes compared to just 10 for the Colts. But their three drives have ended with a blocked field goal, a failed 4th-and-1 play near the endzone, and a punt.

Ezekiel Elliott has 64 rushing yards and 23 receiving so far today. Dak Prescott has completed 12-of-19 for 106 yards, but has been sacked twice.

The offensive line continues to suffer from health issues. With Zack Martin already out and Connor Williams starting at right guard, Xavier Su'a-Filo left the game with an eye injury during the second quarter and will not return. Backup Adam Redmond is now playing.

The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win in any of their final three games. They could also clinch today if the Redskins and Eagles lose. Washington is trailing 10-3 in Jacksonville at halftime, and the Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.

Hopefully, Dallas will start showing up on the scoreboard in the second half.

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