According to the calendar last Sunday was a new one for the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.
According to their offensive performance… it was the same ‘ol song and dance.
Dallas Cowboys fans have had to significantly temper their expectations of this year’s offense as it has been without Tony Romo, and at times Dez Bryant, for a majority of the season. Neither Brandon Weeden nor Matt Cassel has managed to bring it anywhere near the dominance that we’re accustomed to seeing from our ‘Boys in blue.
Such was the case when the Dallas Cowboys took on the Green Bay Packers at the historic Lambeau Field last Sunday. The offense was abysmal, and that’s being nice. Let’s examine it a little further.
Cassel Can’t Get It Done
Matt Cassel completed 13 of 29 passes for 114 yards. He didn’t throw a single touchdown on the day, and he threw only one pass into the arms of the guys wearing different jerseys.
The interception came on the Cowboys’ first offensive possession as they drove all the way down to the Green Bay goal line. It’s hard to put it on Cassel as he hit Dez Bryant in the hands, an egregious error apparently, and Dez let it bounce off and into the arms of a Packer defender.
Cassel was only meant to serve as a bridge to Tony Romo this season so it’s not like we should be expecting the world from him, but he is simply not getting it done. Cowboys fans feel no sense of optimism when he’s behind center as he has shown time after time, game after game, that he doesn’t have enough to move the team downfield.
Watching the game you just knew that the Cowboys had to get a turnover to have a shot at scoring. There is no way that Cassel is going to be able to drive a team more than 40-50 yards.
Overall Grade: C-
Receivers… Where Are They?
The talk all across the land last week was about how Dez Bryant was returning to Lambeau Field after last season’s infamous catch that wasn’t. Most people, myself included, thought that Dez was going to channel this into a big and productive day.
Dez’s Day: 1 catch for 9 yards.
Jason Witten, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Lucky Whitehead all also caught at least one pass each… but it wasn’t because of anything special that they did.
The Packers aren’t rolling with the most elite secondary in the game, and the Dallas Cowboys failed to capitalize on that.
Dez Bryant in particular was really disappointing. He played perhaps the worst game of his career as he had some critical drops in key situations. Dez has had a rough go in 2015, and it continued all throughout Sunday’s loss.
Overall Grade: D
Run DMC And Turbin Time
The lone light of optimism for the Dallas Cowboys Offense on Sunday seemed to be the run game.
Darren McFadden (9 attempts for 111 yards) and Robert Turbin (7 attempts for 51 yards and 1 touchdown) were the only guys that seemed to be able to move the chains.
The box score is a little misleading as 50 of DMC’s and 22 of Turbin’s yards each came on one attempt.
It was nice to see the Cowboys break open those big run plays, but it still speaks to their overall inefficiency. Many fans point to the average yards per carry for each back as a sign of their influence, but I don’t think that’s a fair assessment.
While I agree that the run game has struggled mightily (specifically on short yardage situations on third down) I think McFadden and Turbin deserve some credit.
This team and this offense are so inexplicably predictable that the whole stadium knows when run plays are coming. The fact that DMC or Turbin are able to get any yards at all is a testament to what they’re able to do.
Are these guys elite running backs? Of course not. I’m just saying that they’re worth more than one may think. Either way… they weren’t worth all that much last Sunday.
Overall Grade: C+