The Dallas Cowboys have enjoyed a season full of ineptitude on the offensive side of the football. Mistakes, clock management issues, overthrown passes, and turnovers have been a huge story for this year’s Cowboys and a large reason for that has come off the heels of Matt Cassel.
With Cassel starting, the Cowboys have just one win compared to four losses. However, despite that being the reality, the Cowboys find themselves one game out of first place in the NFC East and are still somehow very much in the thick of things in the ugliest division in football. To get to the playoffs, the Cowboys face a must-win game on the road against the Green Bay Packers. To beat Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau, the Cowboys will need to get a solid performance from Cassel, something he hasn’t consistently done all season.
In the six games Cassel has started, the Cowboys have turned the football over eight times. Not all of the turnovers have been Cassel’s fault, but the problem is that the Cowboys aren’t the best at getting turnovers.
By turning the football over, the Cowboys are consistently being put behind the eight ball. It’s hard enough to win when you average just under 17 points a game, but that’s what the Cowboys are doing when Cassel starts. If they turn over the football three times a game, the defense basically has to play a perfect game, which is what they did on Monday night against the Washington Redskins.
The Packers aren’t the supermachine they have been in recent years, but they’re still a team that leads the NFC North and they still have one of the best players in football touching the ball each play. This a must-win for Dallas, but for them to do that, Cassel will need to be smarter with the football. That means no overthrown passes and that always means smarter decisions within the pocket.
The job of a backup quarterback when they’re inserted into games is to not turn the ball over and get the ball to their star players. If Cassel can sustain drives and keep getting the ball with consistency to Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have all the chance in the world to leave Lambeau Field with their fifth victory of the year.