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DEN 30, DAL 16: Cowboys Get Shut Down, Streak Ended by Visiting Broncos

An anomaly or the end of the party? That’s the question for the Dallas Cowboys after one of their ugliest losses in recent memory. Their six-game win streak crashed and burned today in a 30-16 humiliation from the visiting Denver Broncos. The score was 30-0 in the 4th Quarter and Dallas’ points all came long after the game was decided.

It was a classic “bad day at the office” for Dallas; a game where about everything that could go wrong did. From dropped passes to missed throws on offense, big mistakes on defense, and one of the oddest special teams plays you’ll ever see, the Cowboys put an exclamation point on this defeat.

That said, hope was still alive at halftime. While they trailed 16-0 at the break, Dallas top-ranked offense usually has the juice to overcome that deficit.

The hope skyrocketed when the Cowboys forced a 3-and-out on Denver’s first possession of the 3rd Quarter, then Malik Turner blocked the punt and seemed to set Dallas up in the redzone. But in an obscure rule enforcement, because Nahshon Wright touched the ball and a Broncos player then recovered it, Denver kept the ball and then marched it for another field goal.

That sequence seemed to take the life out of the Cowboys’ sails. Subsequent drives died the same they had in the first half with dropped passes, sacks, and overthrows from Prescott on open receivers.

If not for garbage time touchdown passes from Dak to Malik Turner, the Cowboys might have suffered their first shutout since 2018. That year Dallas fell 23-0 on the road to the Indianapolis Colts.

One issue Dallas has to address before their next game is at left tackle. Terence Steele moved there with La’el Collins’ return and Tyron Smith’s continued absence and fell apart quickly. Broncos pass rusher Jonathon Cooper was a menace, abusing Steele to record two sacks and multiple other pressures.

The loss drops Dallas to 6-2, still on top in the NFC East but without the same confidence as a week ago. We’ll see if their lead decreases when the 3-5 Eagles host the Chargers later today.

The Cowboys will look to put this one behind them next week with another home game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Silver Linings

  • Micah Parsons had another huge statistical day with 10 tackles, 3 for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Those kind of numbers made him the NFC Defensive Player of the Week last week, so we’ll see if he can snag a second-straight award.
  • Ezekiel Elliott had 51 yards on just 10 carries, but the game got too out of hand to keep feeding him. He a
  • Malik Turner’s TD catches were his first as a Cowboy and only the second and third of his career. The last one came in 2019 when playing for the Seahawks.
  • Tony Pollard’s 54-yard kickoff return to start the game was nice.
  • That’s about it.

What do you think?

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Written by Jess Haynie

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!

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  1. This loss might not be a bad thing! Maybe it will help us realize that we are not as good as we think we are and make us refocus on taking one game at a time ! If we have to loose a game I would rather it be to the Bronco’s instead of the no name team out of Washington or the Eagles!

  2. Agreed. I was a little worried about Dak’s accuracy coming into the game. And though the game got out of hand I think we gave up on the running game too early. And Steele has been Pro Bowl caliber this year at right tackle. McCarthy doesn’t like changing two spots but today he did. Granted Collins has been our starter at RT but according to McCarthy’s theory, which I don’t necessarily disagree with, I believe they would have been best served putting Collins or someone else at LT and leaving Steele in his usual spot.

  3. Hope I can watch this game on the NFL network later this week. Would love to see why the wheels fell off in this one. My suspicion is that the underestimated this team due their recent struggles. There isn’t a team in this league that you can expect to just role the ball out on the field and get a win. I am also guessing that the line shuffle messed with chemistry. Something HAS to be done about left tackle next year. Smith routinely going down has been a problem for years now. I feel it would have been better to leave Steele where he was comfortable and performing well and let Collins play left tackle. If this is what we can expect with Smith out the Cowboys are toast.

  4. Brutal, ugly loss, at home, no less. Broncos haven’t beaten a good team, up till now, all season. No logical reason for us being this flat. Agree w/Jeff and Todd, maybe should have left TS at RT. LT position needs to be addressed. Still, no excuse for that performance.

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