The day on the calendar was different, but somehow yesterday felt like the same 'ol song and dance from the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.
After it was all said and done the scoreboard gave the Buffalo Bills the victory by a margin of 16-6, but it felt like 100-0.
The reason it felt like a hundred point shutout was because the offense of the Dallas Cowboys, shockingly, didn't show up. Sure there were a few plays that perked our eyebrows and grabbed our attention, but they didn't show up on the scoreboard and that's where it matters most.
Offensive issues are no stranger to this team so it's not like we were caught completely off guard. We've, sadly, come to expect very little from that side of the ball and they totally delivered on that expectation.
Come with me down Disgusting Avenue as we break down yesterday's bleak offensive performance.
Kellen Moore Needed To Do More
The Cowboys turned to the services of Kellen Moore for the first time during last week's loss at home against the New York Jets. Kellen came in and actually threw a touchdown to Dez Bryant, but he also threw three interceptions.
Moore has a little bit of razzle-dazzle to him that can be exciting to watch... either that or we've all just become so numb with quarterback pain after watching Matt Cassel for so long. Either way Moore came out in Buffalo as the starter and wasn't afraid to throw the ball.
Altogether Kellen threw 31 passes while completing a shockingly low 13 of them for 186 yards. There were no touchdowns, but there was an interception (although it bounced off of the hands of Brice Butler so not 100% Kellen's fault).
To be totally fair to Kellen you have to consider that Dez Bryant wasn't out there, so that changes a lot of things. While he didn't set the world, or the box score, on fire Kellen was unafraid to throw downfield. I like that quality about him.
Kellen also brought to life a certain wide receiver that Cowboys Nation has been pounding the table to see - Brice Butler.
Moore has done enough to earn some serious backup quarterback consideration in my eyes. I am in no way saying that this guy is the future of the Dallas Cowboys, but with the proper time and effort put into him he can be serviceable.
Overall Grade: C+
The Whole 99 Yards
If you read my Bold Predictions for the Bills game then you know that I called for Darren McFadden to have over 100 yards rushing. I was two yards shy!
Run DMC finished with 99 yards on the day off of 19 attempts, giving him a 5.2 yards per carry average.
I've said it before and I will say it again - Darren McFadden has been the most consistent piece of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys Offense.
This guy is money in the bank at this point. You can say it's because of his own natural talent or give all the credit to his Offensive Line (which does feature three Pro Bowlers). At the end of the day Darren McFadden has been worth the move made to get him in every way.
What's particularly impressive about McFadden's accomplishments is that he's doing so in the face of extreme predictability. He had 5.2 yards per carry with Kellen Moore as his quarterback! Everyone out there knows he's getting the ball and, for whatever reason, he can't be stopped.
Overall Grade: B+
The Butler Did It
I alluded to Brice Butler earlier, but it's time to unveil something truly incredible about him concerning yesterday's game.
Brice Butler led the Dallas Cowboys in receiving yards!
In my Bold Predictions I also called for Brice scoring on a pass of over 30 yards. He did have a 34 yard reception so I wasn't too far off. I'll take partial credit.
You know by now that Kellen Moore didn't light the Bills up, so it's not like the receivers did either. The biggest positive was Brice's performance.
Terrance Williams tied Butler in receptions (4) and did go for 62 yards himself; however, it is becoming more and more apparent that Brice Butler is a better receiver than him and this game may have been the exclamation point on that.
Cole Beasley had a nice 25 yard reception that saved a one catch for four yards performance, and James Hanna even caught a pass!
The biggest pass was caught by Jason Witten. With his one catch for 12 yards, Witten caught a pass in his 118th consecutive game... giving him the longest streak in Dallas Cowboys History (he was previously tied with Michael Irvin at 117).
Jason Witten has had some personal highlights in a season that has been largely disappointing for the offense around him, so at least we're able to celebrate something.
Overall Grade: B-
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.
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.
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.
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?
IND 23, DAL 0: Cowboys Get Shut Out, Embarrassed by Colts
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.
- 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.
Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Trailing Colts 10-0 at Halftime
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.
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.
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Why is Jerry Jones “keeping a very close eye” on the Kareem Hunt Case?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
David Irving’s Return Could Make Cowboys’ Defense Even Scarier
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Randy Gregory Is Looking Like We Always Thought He Could
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Wide Receiver Michael Gallup Making a Huge Impact for Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Tavon Austin’s Return Should Make Cowboys Offense More Dangerous
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Can Rod Smith Help Lighten Ezekiel Elliott’s Heavy Workload?
Star Blog6 days ago
Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
It’s Time To Give DL Tyrone Crawford His Credit