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Dallas Cowboys Offense is a No Show, Again

Last Sunday, the season ended with a colossal dud against the . The whole team played poorly, and, like the entire regular season, Dallas was undisciplined, racking up 14 on the day.

The let the 49ers bludgeon their way right down the field on the opening possession, and the followed that up with consecutive anemic possessions, starting the game in a deep hole.

The defense didn't play great, but they played well enough to win, especially in the second half. The only points they gave up were after a interception that gave the 49ers outstanding field position.

The same can't be said for Dak Prescott and the offense. The offense struggled throughout the entirety of the game.

The Cowboys were still in this game at the end of the first half, down only 16-7, and were in prime territory to score before the half and get the ball back to start the second half.

Prescott and the offense faltered before half because of penalties and the inability to recognize that throwing passes directly into the sun was not a good idea.

After halftime, the 49ers gifted them a roughing the to give them the ball back after a would-be three and out. What did they do with that opportunity? Absolutely nothing.

The Cowboys' offense finished the game with a -0.166 EPA/play per, a of 38.9%, a dropback EPA of -0.193, and a dropback success rate of 35.2%.

The rushing offense did nothing to help the cause, again. Dallas finished the game with a rush EPA of -0.115.

The Cowboys' was a big problem as well.


The offensive line surrendered five for a net loss of 40 yards, plus countless pressures and hurries. It seemed at times they couldn't even block a four-man rush with this supposed talent on the line.

The frustration continues into play calling. The Cowboys did not get the ball in the hands of their playmakers enough, which was a problem all season.

had once catch on only five targets, carried the ball only four times, even though the drive he was featured on led to a touchdown.  

The news came out after the game that played the season with a partially torn PCL. This begs the question of why on earth were the Cowboys force-feeding Elliott throughout the entire second half of the season.

Why didn't they give Pollard more burn, especially on Sunday when it mattered most?

Prescott didn't come to play either. He finished the game with a 53% completion percentage, a rating of 69.3, and a horrendous interception.

Even with all the penalties, questionable offensive line play, and poor execution, the Cowboys had a chance to win at the end of the game. They were at about midfield with over two minutes left and three timeouts.

That series went as follows:

Sack of Prescott for negative one yard.

Drop my CeeDee Lamb.

Incomplete pass to Zeke. (Holding penalty)

Incomplete desperate heave to .

While the whole team failed, Prescott needed to get the job done there in the final minutes. You can blame the play calling and the offensive line, but the fact of the matter is great quarterbacks need to be able to take the team on their back in that situation and win the game.

Prescott seemed uncomfortable in the pocket all day, as he did for much of the second half of the season. He had accuracy issues; he couldn't diagnose the 49ers' defense. He looked completely inept.

Many have suggested he's not reading the field well; he has trouble beating zone coverage and figuring out a defense. Quite frankly, how can you argue that at this point?

Former Cowboys' great had some things to say about Prescott.

He said, “I'm just wavering now with Dak. I saw regression as the season went on — that's a disappointment at $40 million a year. It's not about the money, it's about that player playing the position and not improving, declining in a year where we started out so well… We almost had the won in the first seven weeks. Then we started going downhill. A lot of it was on the offensive side of the ball, and a lot of it was predicated by the play of the .”

Again, it's hard not to be at this point with Prescott. He doesn't get it done when the lights are the brightest. 

To Pearson's point, Prescott definitely regressed in the second half of the season, failing to win any meaningful games and beating up on an -plagued East and, of course, the Eagles' third and fourth stringers on the final weekend of the season. 

You are pretty much either in two camps when it comes to Prescott. He is still great and was held back by play-calling, offensive scheme, and suspect offensive line play, or you have realized that Dak is merely just a good quarterback.

There is nothing wrong with being only a good quarterback, but all the clamoring of Dak is elite; Dak is special, looks silly right now.

Does Dak Prescott need everything to be perfect to succeed? Maybe. Can he win when the burden rests on his shoulders? The resounding answer to that so far in his career is a no, and it's disappointing. 

It will be a long offseason for Dallas and one that may come with a complete turnover in the . One thing will remain the same, though, in 2022, and that is Prescott will need to play a lot better.

Kevin Rice
Kevin Rice
I'm a 32 year old life long Cowboys fan from New York. It's fun growing up in enemy territory. College basketball and March Madness fanatic. Lover of thrillers and comedies. Follow me on twitter @CowboysCC9

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Bennie spark

Dak has to get a lot better. If Romo would have had what he’s got you would have won a ring again


Good article Kevin, you pretty much nailed the situation without too much beating around the bush. It is very unfortunate the Cowboy front office didn’t have the foresight to see that the ROI with DP wasn’t going to turn out well, as we all are seeing now (save the lovers). And the ironic thing about that is some fans/commenters HERE, actually saw this coming like TWO YEARS AGO.

Question for anyone smarter than me. Is there any way to get out from under this dead weight contract that will negatively affect the Cowboy cap for some time, outside of some sucker team willing to trade for him and that albatross of a contract?

Again, DP’s QBR ranking was 17th before the Philly Farce. That’s bottom half folks. As a result, I for one wasn’t very surprised by the loss vs 49ers. As I’m sure most people here know, but for those who don’t, QBR rankings take into account the quality of the OPPONENTS (think NFC East). QBR is where the rubber meets the road.

27 years and counting!


Found this on another site:

Kurt Warner breaking down the poor route concepts of boy genius and the poor reads and mechanics by Dak.


It’s almost like Kellen tries to get too cute with some of his play calls, or he has way too much confidence in his receivers to win their matchups and the QB to make accurate and timely throws. Sure, we’ve got some very good receivers, but we don’t have a QB that reliably throws on time and with accuracy and anticipation.

It’s also telling that the SF LB’s and Safeties played like they had seen it all way too many times before. That tells me that for all of his vaunted creativity, Moore calls a lot of the same stuff over and over.

James Vargas

Great analysis by Kurt Warner. This only states what it has been all along said. Dak is a good QB, but not great or elite. Look at Brady, he knows exactly where he is going at the line of scrimmage. Hence, his quick release. That is called experience and a lot of preparation and coordination with his receivers.


Brady also processes a lot faster, even before that experience helping him to process even faster.

I think that’s Dak’s biggest problem, processing speed. He doesn’t read, process, and execute nearly fast enough. Between slow processing and risk aversion keeping him from pulling the trigger, he continually holds the ball a tick too long, leading to passes behind his receivers. I’m always amazed when he manages to hit a receiver in stride.

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