Last week, I published an article flashing us back to the last time the Cowboys faced the Denver Broncos. It was 2013, and after a shootout for the ages, the Cowboys suffered a heartbreaking defeat.
Well, yesterday, the Cowboys played like it was 2013 once again. For the first time since that 8-8 season, a Cowboys team which had its real starting quarterback got absolutely demolished.
That’s it, demolished. From start to finish the Denver Broncos controlled the game, en route to an embarrassing 42-17 defeat. And, for once, it was a complete team failure.
No, you can’t simply blame the defense.
Sure Dallas couldn’t get off the field on third down whatsoever and seemed to fold on every single key down, but offensively they simply had no answers for the stingy Denver defense. The offensive line could not open any real running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott and not a single receiver seemed to create any separation from the Broncos secondary.
Dak Prescott, who I firmly believe is the future of this franchise, played about as poorly as we have ever seen him play. Though one of his two interceptions was clearly not his fault, Prescott was still rather inaccurate all night long, finishing the day off with a pick six to Aqib Talib.
But, with all that being said, this is not completely on the offense either.
This was, by far, the worst tackling performance by a Cowboys defense in two seasons. There are obvious holes in this defensive unit which we have all acknowledged, but when Byron Jones and Sean Lee have bad days, the unit simply doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Just about the only bright spot from this 42-17 loss was defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who pressured Trevor Siemian multiple times and came away with a strip sack to set up a Cowboys touchdown. Besides Lawrence, and a Jourdan Lewis interception, the defense was abysmal.
But, even with all of that said, I can’t blame this all on the players either. Dallas was completely out-coached yesterday, from the top down. Jason Garrett made some very questionable decisions late in the game which, while may not have really affected whether a comeback would have happened, still caused me to scratch my head.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan tried to get cute a little too often, and left his young quarterback in some terrible situations. Especially on the road against this defense. And, of course, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s unit just did not seem ready to play whatsoever.
The season is far from lost, though, Cowboys Nation. The Cowboys now travel to Arizona to play a 1-1 Cardinals team which barely squeaked by the lowly Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Then, they face an improved Los Angeles Rams team at home, in another game in which they should be favored.
The point is, the Cowboys should have plenty of time to right this ship and get back to playing the way they did over 17 games last season, and have once this season already.
This is still a very talented football team, and one that should win a lot of games and compete for the NFC East crown. It’s been a long time since the Cowboys were beat down like they were yesterday.
Maybe they were just due.