Finally! This is the Dallas Cowboys team we have been expecting to see all season. They were finally able to put four quarters of football together and did so by getting back to the blueprint that has worked for them in the past. This blueprint helped lead them to a dominant 40-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers and hopefully is just a glimpse of what we will see from them the rest of the season.
How much better does it feel to finally watch a Dallas Cowboys game and not be left with a bad taste in our mouths afterwards? I don’t know about you, but that is exactly what I needed after sitting through the last two Cowboys games and the long bye week. It was just such a relief to see the Cowboys dominate for a change and not have to worry about them giving away the lead.
There is so many good things we can take away from this game, but there were also several things that need to be improved upon still. Let’s dive into this week’s edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. As always, feel free to use the comment section at the end of the article to express your own thoughts and opinions on this topic.
There are obviously a number of different directions I could have gone this week for the good for the Dallas Cowboys against the San Francisco 49ers, but Ezekiel Elliott’s dominance stood out the most for me. But, I could’ve easily went with Dak Prescott here or the fact that the Cowboys were finally able to maintain a lead for all four quarters. Ultimately though it was Elliott who won out.
Surprisingly enough, I think this was the first game of the entire 2017 season where Elliott actually looked like himself, or at least the player we all fell in love with last season. He completely dominated from the get-go and accumulated 147 rushing yards on the ground on 26 carries with two TDs, and added one reception for 70 yards and a touchdown. That’s over 200 yards of offense just from Elliott and the 49ers had absolutely no answer for him the entire game.
For me, the bad for the Dallas Cowboys against the San Francisco 49ers was the injury to arguably their most consistent player, Dan Bailey. Bailey unfortunately had to exit the game relatively early due to what was later diagnosed as a pulled groin muscle. This of course is a huge blow to the Cowboys because he is such a consistent player and one of their best weapons.
Bailey was replaced by Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath during the game and surprisingly enough he was able to make 2 of 3 extra point attempts. He also wasn’t too shabby on kickoffs either, but he isn’t who you want in there if Dan Bailey has to miss an extended period of time.
There is no way of knowing as of yet how serious Bailey’s injury is, but the Cowboys would be wise to work out some kickers as soon as possible. Hopefully Bailey’s groin injury isn’t too serious and he can get back on the field next week against the division rival Washington Redskins. But, the Cowboys definitely need a better contingency plan in place.
I actually downgraded the Dallas Cowboys defense from the bad category over the last two games, to the ugly category this week. The Cowboys defense continues to be the Achilles’ heel of the organization. They were able to hold things together this week against a 49ers team who have been able to put points up the board against opponents this season though, so there’s that.
The Dallas Cowboys continue to struggle in the run game and also give up big passing plays, but they have been able to get after the QB this season. They were able to sack QB C.J. Beathard five times and create two turnovers off of those sacks. Both DeMarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith had strip sacks, and it was definitely a welcomed site for the Cowboys, especially considering the have been losing the turnover battle this season.
Hopefully this can be a confidence booster for the entire Cowboys defense in order to start putting everything together. They have found their pass rush this season, but a missed tackle here or missed assignment there is keeping them from finding any kind of consistency. I think they’re on the verge of finding the consistency and that would definitely be a good thing.