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Injuries and Questionable Calls, Cowboys Fall 20-17 to the Rams

The Dallas Cowboys fall to the Los Angeles Rams 20-17 in what was both a disappointing start to the game as well as a disappointing finish. The Cowboys had opportunities throughout the game but were inconsistent on both sides of the footbal. That inconsistency and the injuries they were dealing with were too much to overcome.

It was a slow start to the season for the Dallas Cowboys, who fell behind quickly to the Los Angeles Rams, who opened the game on a seven-play 75-yard drive that ended with a Malcolm Brown one-yard touchdown. The game started with remnants of the divisional round playoff loss in 2018 as the Cowboys couldn’t get off the field defensively as Sean McVay and the Rams had everything working early on.

Things began to settle down for the Cowboys in the second quarter as they were able to hold the Rams to just two field goals. The Cowboys got two touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott in the second, one on a one-yard run near the end of the half, which allowed the Cowboys to take the lead going into halftime.

The first half was marred with injuries for the Cowboys, losing Leighton Vander Esch, Cam Erving, and Blake Jarwin all before the break.

After the Cowboys punted on their first possession of the second half, the Rams were able to move the ball with very little resistance on their way to a short Malcolm Brown touchdown run to give Los Angeles a 20-14 lead.

The Cowboys, unfortunately, were unable to answer the bell on their ensuing drive, going three and out and punting the ball back to the Rams. Fortunately, Jared Goff, under pressure, was intercepted by Chidobe Awuzie and the Cowboys turned that into three points to cut the lead to three.

Dallas then forced a three and out and were able to move the ball down to inside the 11-yard line. On 3rd and 6, the Cowboys gave the ball to Ezekiel Elliott for three yards leading to a fourth-down call that came up short when Jordan Fuller weaved through the defense to stop CeeDee Lamb after the reception and force the turnover on downs.

Trevon Diggs came up with a huge stop on the Rams’ final possession as they attempted to run out the clock. On 3rd and 3 at the Rams 47, Los Angeles ran a wide toss that was strung out well, but there was still room to the outside if Malcolm Brown could get by Diggs. Diggs came up with the clutch tackle to force fourth down and give the Dallas Cowboys one more shot.

With 2:28 on the clock, the Dallas Cowboys took over at their nine-yard line and down three points.

Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a couple of short completions that led to a first down on the drive, just before the two-minute warning. After picking up a first down on a short Ezekiel Elliott run, Dak Prescott found Michael Gallup deep down the left sideline, but the play was ruled offensive pass interference.

It was a weak call by the officiating crew as Gallup extended, but Jalen Ramsey had his hands all over Michael Gallup as well. It was the typical kind of hand-fighting you see on just about every route ran in the NFL.

After that, the Cowboys were stuck in a 3rd and 20 situation and that they couldn’t overcome. Now the Dallas Cowboys head back to Texas to prepare for the Atlanta Falcons, who also need to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks at home.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Don’t blame any of this on the refs. Complete garbage effort and execution by the team. Bad play calling several times, Dak was nervous at the line again, and defense was sloppy, slow, and out of position. Even when they got to them, their tackling was horrid.

    Better not go 0-2.get t rust knocked off, and show up next week

  2. Good summary. Few adds.
    Seemed we were penalized on each of our big plays, Which felt a little 1 sided in that department.
    Prescott although in the past I have given a lot of flack from last year played pretty well day 1. Several tough throws and even that played that was called back was on the money. Well played today. There were a few times felt needed to get the ball out quicker but was good to see him run again.
    We lost this game surely on offensive play calling. Plan and simple. Not talking about that 3rd down garbage run to 4th down 2 yard pass. But their were several drives that simply didn’t use their wr core. I am sorry but if you have the best wr core in the game u don’t throw it to a back up te twice that can’t catch pillow my kid would throw to him. Running zeke was great but we seemed to be caught in 1 demential at times on certain drives. Example this drive we will feature zeke and run him 3 to 4 times then playaction and pass to him. Next drive they would put on a passing clinic. Back to same old predictable play calling offensively. We did get new coaches this year, right. Ohhhh wait we kept the same old Garrett play calling in Moore. Doahhh. Defensively struggled due to injuries but showed some life when Nolan finally started calling blitz plays which I am not mistaken most of our line and linebackers thrived in blitzing qbs. If we wanted coverable play that is what we had yesteryears. MORE BLITZ PACKEGES. IT WORKED. ultimately a disappointment in our loss and humbles u on all the hype and were we actually stand.
    Summary: with jarwin out, more 3 wr packages with dual backs. Pollard looked real good. MORE BLITZ packages for defense. Give lbs some help. PLEASE someone look for help at tackle. McCarthy also might need to step in for the kid. But may be to soon just yet. But he needs to figure it out soon. I would hate for McCarthy to be like w.phillips.

  3. Agree Mike games are won in the trenches. Pretty sad when a guy who hasn’t played in 5 yrs is our best defensive player. Where was Griffen and Lawrence? They were both no shows.

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