As a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I was extremely disappointed in the entire team's performance Sunday afternoon against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos dominated the entire game from start to finish and completely embarrassed a talented Cowboys team. But, this embarrassing loss for the Cowboys could actually end up being a blessing in disguise.
Now, don't get me wrong. I was completely shocked with the lack of discipline and effort the majority of the game for the Dallas Cowboys. It's a game that many of us would like to forget and soon. But, that doesn't mean it can't be a really good learning experience, especially for the younger players on the Cowboys roster. This is really the first taste of defeat many of them have experienced at the NFL level.
Take Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott for instance. Both players had fantastic rookie seasons to start their NFL careers. They were both in the conversation for NFL MVP, but neither player has had to bounce back from a game where they were thoroughly beaten like they will have to next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Everything has pretty much been smooth sailing, but they are now entering into uncharted waters.
Make no mistake. This Dallas Cowboys team is still young in a lot of areas and they still need time to gain that experience. How they perform next week against the Arizona Cardinals could help determine this teams fortitude and willingness to scratch and claw in order to come away with a victory.
I will be the first to go on record and say that I believe the Dallas Cowboys will bounce back against the Cardinals Monday night. I think the Cowboys were so embarrassed that they will rally and put their best foot forward, and they have the Denver Broncos to thank and I'll tell you why.
The Dallas Cowboys now know that they have to prepare themselves for the unknown. The Denver Broncos defense threw quite a few curveballs at the Cowboys offense and it noticeably caught them off guard. Fortunately, there really isn't another defense on the schedule this season as talented as the Broncos, but Kansas City and Seattle are close.
I have no doubt my mind that the Cowboys offense will get things right. They are far too talented to be shut down like they were against the Broncos. I wouldn't be surprised if they have some wrinkles of their own up their sleeve this week.
Also, the problems on defense are correctable. Injuries put the secondary in a tough situation, but it did allow some of the young CBs to gain some valuable in game experience. Jourdan Lewis to me played very well, despite missing the majority of the off-season because of injuries. He is going to be a player for the Cowboys and it might have to be sooner rather than later.
The majority of the problems on defense were due to poor tackling. I quit counting the number of times I saw defenders break down to make a tackle, only to let the offensive player slip through their grasp. You know you're going to have problems on defense when Sean Lee is missing tackles.
Fortunately, that just comes down to fundamentals and I have no doubts defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli makes that a focal point in practices this week. Injuries on the other hand will simply have to be worked around. The aforementioned Lewis could play a key role this week against the Cardinals, but hopefully Chidobe Awuzie can overcome his minor hamstring injury and get back on the field.
All in all, there's really no need to worry that the Dallas Cowboys team that played against the Denver Broncos Sunday is the same one we will see the rest of the season. I think we can just chalk it up to a bad game and hope that they can put it behind them. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait and see if that is indeed what happens.