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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Tampa Bay

Brian Martin

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Ezekiel Elliott, Zeke Elliott, Buccaneers

The Dallas Cowboys got back to their winning ways Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and still hold a two win lead over the New York Giants in the NFC East division, despite losing to them last week.

This really wasn't a must win game for the Cowboys, but I really thought they needed this win in a bad way to get things back on track and quiet the doubters that reared their ugly heads after last week's loss.

The Cowboys still hold their destiny in their hands and with this win over Tampa Bay, they can still claim home-field advantage for the playoffs if they can defeat the Detroit Lions.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for the Dallas Cowboys against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is still areas that they can continue to improve, but overall they did enough to win the game.

So, without further ado, here is this week's Good, Bad, And Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Good 

Dak Prescott, BuccaneersI'm going to state the obvious here and say that Dak Prescott's performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night was the good. Yes, I could've gone a number of different directions, but #4 absolutely had to show up this game or risk losing his starting job.

Against the Giants last week Prescott had one of his worst performances in his young career and finished the game with only a 45.4 passer rating.Fortunately, he rebounded in a big way against the Buccaneers Sunday night and finished with an impressive 88.9 completion percentage.

The Buccaneers were one of the hottest teams in the NFL and the way their defense was performing was largely responsible for that.

Fortunately though, Prescott completed 32 of 36 of his passes for 279 passing yards against them, with no interceptions, and rushed for one TD. He did have a passing TD, but that was unfortunately overturned because of a penalty.

Prescott needed to rebound after a couple of poor performances in order to quite his doubters. He did just that Sunday night and it looks as if he has the Dallas Cowboys offense firing on all cylinders once again.

The Bad

Jason GarrettPenalties! This is unfortunately becoming a weekly occurrence and is without a doubt the bad for the Dallas Cowboys against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night.

It seems every time the Dallas Cowboys put together a good offensive drive, they hurt themselves with an untimely penalty that puts them in a long down distance situation. These drive killers can't continue to happen if they want to compete against some of the best teams in the NFL in the postseason.

The Cowboys have to become more disciplined in this area and they need to do it fast. It is completely unacceptable that they keep hurting themselves with these self-inflicted  penalties.

The penalty that could have cost themselves the game against the Buccaneers was the holding penalty against Tyron Smith that wiped out the Lance Dunbar TD. The Cowboys had to settle for a Dan Bailey field goal, giving the Buccaneers a chance to steal the game in the end.

If I'm Jason Garrett, I'm going to stress the importance of not allowing these mental mistakes to happen in meetings and on the practice field this week. Let's just hope everyone receives this message loud and clear.

The Ugly

David Irving, Jameis Winston, BuccaneersThe ugly this week for the Cowboys against the Buccaneers was probably the defensive performance. Of course, this could probably go in the good category as well.

The sad truth is, the defense for the Dallas Cowboys is never going to completely dominate a game, but they continue to make plays when it matters and they did just that against the Buccaneers Sunday night.

The defense held the Buccaneers to just 20 points and had four quarterback sacks, three interceptions, and one fumble recovery.  That's a pretty good outing for any defense in the NFL, especially for the Dallas Cowboys who only have one Pro Bowl player on that side of the ball.

The reason I have the defense in the ugly category is because the Buccaneers still had a chance to win at the end of the game, and I just kept feeling like there was a big possibility their offense was going to come up with a big play that would ultimately cost the Cowboys the victory.

Fortunately though, they were able to get the Buccaneers offense off the field the last couple drives and that was in large part to David Irving's domination. Hopefully #95 can continue that dominance into the postseason.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Cowboys against the Buccaneers?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Indianapolis

Brian Martin

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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.

The Good

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

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.

The Bad

Xavier Su'a-flio

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-flio

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.

The Ugly

Marlon Mack, Chidobe Awuzie

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack

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?



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Game Notes

IND 23, DAL 0: Cowboys Get Shut Out, Embarrassed by Colts

Jess Haynie

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Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

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.

Other Notes

  • 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.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Trailing Colts 10-0 at Halftime

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott

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.

Ezekiel Elliott has 64 rushing yards and 23 receiving so far today. Dak Prescott has completed 12-of-19 for 106 yards, but has been sacked twice.

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.



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