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Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Offense A Rare No-Show at Home Vs. Broncos

The Dallas Cowboys played most of last season without either starting or , something they overcame to win six games and remain competitive in a weak . With Prescott back in the lineup on Sunday after missing last week's game at , the loss of at LT spoiled Prescott's return as the entire Cowboys was held scoreless until the fourth quarter.

For a team averaging 34.2 points per game at home this season, the Broncos flipped the script on how the Cowboys reached 6-1. Instead of being forced to throw against and the Cowboys , Denver was able to stick with their run game to frustrate Dallas – picking on Diggs in coverage when they wanted to as well.

The extent of which the Broncos was either aided by a poor game from 's offense or legitimately slowed the Cowboys down can be discussed in more detail later in the week. For now, the Cowboys will look to move on from this loss as quickly as possible, starting with these immediate takeaways.

The absence of Tyron Smith was felt on the Cowboys first drive, when was stopped on fourth down. If the Cowboys had Smith at with lined up next to him, the Broncos defense may have respected the threat of a pass out of this tight formation more. Instead, Schultz was clearly in to help , and the Cowboys did not have a receiver out wide for this play. Justin Simmons crashed the play and stopped Elliott.

The Cowboys defense forced the Broncos backwards on the ensuing drive, creating ten tackles for loss on the game, all of which went to waste as the offense sputtered.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Offense A Rare No-Show at Home Vs. Broncos

Trevon Diggs could have been in better position on his third-and-goal pass interference that led to a Broncos touchdown. Diggs had inside help from , but still played the route by with inside leverage. Sutton held off Diggs and forced the defender to play through him, drawing the penalty. The Cowboys failed to convert on third and short on the next drive, punting the ball back to who threw a 44-yard touchdown to Tim Patrick against Diggs for a 13-0 Denver lead.

's drop that led to another turnover on downs in the third quarter was the perfect example of the Cowboys losing focus in this game. Cooper is one of the most sure-handed receivers in the league, and could have had a big gain on this play if he held on. Prescott missed on another deep shot on fourth down the next play. It was Lamb himself that said postgame the Cowboys practices leading up to this game weren't “crisp”, as he and Prescott failed to get their timing down.

It's plays like this the Cowboys can point to when disclaiming that the Broncos had the 6-2 East leaders figured out. Losing to an AFC opponent in the same week as Philadelphia and Green Bay lost keeps the Cowboys goals of the division title and number one seed ahead of them. They'll need to not overlook the to keep things this way, making their return to after last year's epic collapse at the Cowboys.

Atlanta went into New Orleans and beat the Saints 27-25 on Sunday.

What do you think?

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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  1. The thing about the NFL today, is that ppl use the term Elite or franchise QB way too loosely,

    My list of Franchise QBs

    Tom Brady (duh)

    Russell Wilson

    Lamar Jackson

    Aaron Rodgers

    Kyler Murray

    Justin Herbert

    Josh Allen

    Pat Mahomes (even though he hasn’t been good this year )

    And Dak

    The rest are iffy , Stafford isn’t on there cuz he hasn’t won a playoff game for how long he’s been in the league

    The thing about my list, i could actually argue about half of them shouldn’t be there as there’s still lots of unknowns with them, (Herbert and Murray have no playoff wins, Lamar who I’ve seen alot of failures in the playoffs so far, and Dak who’s done well in the past but hasn’t done enough)

    Playoffs and of course SB wins are important, but I think we can all agree that Trent Dilfer wasn’t a better QB than Dan Marino, yet Dilfer won a SB, Marino didn’t

    There’s a fine line between wins vs. stats that determines how great a QB is or was, now if you got stats to go along with the rings, then you’re a slam dunk great QB, but anything less than that one way or the other, then i have to dig deeper to figure out if you’re part of that same echelon of QB, when you’re Marino and you have all those stats but no rings, I’d put you in the upper echelon.

    All in all, stats isn’t everything and or RINGS aren’t everything, how you got those stats or how you got those rings determines to me how great you were

  2. Also golf isn’t really a comparable sport as it’s just how good are you, where as NFL is a TEAM SPORT,

    This game became PAINFULLY OBVIOUS THAT WE NEED T SMITH AT LT, we got cute thinking Steele could just scoot over there and have same success as he did at RT, well that was wrong, and i don’t believe Collins will be much better over there either, we need Smith back desperately

    It was a really bad performance by Dak, no getting around that, but it’s 1 bad performance, before this one i believed he was right in the middle for MVP, it’s funny how ppl are riding our boys after this bad performance (though it was really bad) but yet, i don’t hear about the 6-9 point loss the Bills had vs. Jags, or the Rams getting blowed out at home twice, this week vs. Titans, and earlier in the season vs. Cards.

    It is what it is with that loss, i knew we’d have a stinker eventually, so now it’s time we move on and focus on the Falcons this week

  3. gary b, great questions and I will give it a go. To me, the QB may get more scrutiny than other positions simply because they are usually considered the leader of a team or at least leader of an offense. 99.9% of the time everything starts with the QB and they touch the football more often than any other player. The success or failure of the QB has a disproportionate role in the success or failure of the team. Maybe that is why the terms elite and great are often used when referencing QBs. They are the most important players on the field.

    Fair or unfair, I think Postseason/SB accomplishment does have a great effect on the status of QBs over other positions. Now if a QB has an “uneven” supporting cast, especially on offense, but somehow is still considered great/elite, that may be an exception to the rule. Dan Marino comes to mind, best QB (and considered great) to never win a SB, though he did play in one and got his team to the PS often. I don’t know if winning a SB alone is a prerequisite for a QB to be labeled great/elite. I guess I would consider that as debatable when looking at a total body of work.

    As far as position players, IMO, they can have an easier road to greatness, because they don’t have to carry the same weight of a QB, who usually does get most the credit for a win, but usually get a larger portion of blame for a loss. Dick Butkus and Barry Sanders, both at the top of their positions, are two that come to mind.

  4. The word elite and great our often times bandied about, usually when referencing QBs. Most seem to earn these titles after having Playoff/SB success. But what if the QB plays great and the rest of the team doesn’t. Can he still be considered great?

    Lastly if playoff success is the only metric in which we judge the worth of a QB, how are other positions judged. Stats?

  5. The term great or elite is bandied about all the time, usually when referencing QBs. Most QBs who are or have been considered great have had alot of playoff success. But do you have to win the SB to be a great QB? What happens if the QB plays great and the rest of the team doesn’t?

    Is QB the only position where greatness is tied into winning the SB?

  6. After posting and re-reading my comment,I was expecting that exact response Marcus, and it’s certainly fair. But I suppose the hidden point, that I may have failed to properly express, was that if you had visions or grandeur thoughts that Dak was “great”, then that is on you … I don’t believe the body of fans with any modicum of football acumen think otherwise … and you should know better than to ignore those he say he is great.

    But, your arrow hit it’s target …

  7. At the risk of coming to the rescue of my hero. I’ll venture to guess that Dak is closer to the QB he was the first six games as opposed to the last one. And lets hope the same applies to every player on this roster not named Micah Parsons, or this entire TEAM is in trouble.

  8. GP, in your rush to support your hero, you make my point. Your google search gave you plenty of good examples of players who will be remembered for their potential for greatness. Norman especially – will FOREVER be remembered for his epic collapses in the biggest moments. Speith – for what he MIGHT have been. Rory for being the best player in the world but decomposing into a decade-long collapse with no answers. Ernie – “always the bridesmaid” Els. Adam Scott – please…. Or maybe David Duvall, Rocco Mediate, or 100 others that played great golf through periods of their careers.

    Funny you never mentioned Nicholas, Palmer, Player, Snead, Woods, Watson, Faldo, Byron Nelson, or Bobbie Jones.

    I could have made a military analogy just as easily and pointed out how some men find success at leading a platoon, company, brigade, division, or even an entire army against an inferior military force, but would NEVER be able to compete with an military force led by a genuinely great General/Admiral like Rommel, Yamamoto, Robert E. Lee, or even Sitting Bull or Geronimo. Thank God for the genuinely great American military leaders like Eisenhower, Nimitz, Patton, MacArthur, Halsey, and Grant. I wish there had been such leaders in place in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

    Analogies are simply tools to make a point. While I’m certain most readers understood my point, reflexive Dak supporters will always ignore the bigger point being made by repeatedly and giddily pointing to his stats or reminding us how other good players also fail occassionally. Those things are true. No one denies them.

    My point dealt with GREATNESS. Your counterpoint defended “pretty good most of the time”.

  9. Ummm …

    Jordan Spieth: squanders 5-stroke lead with 9 holes to play in 2016 Masters.
    Adam Scott: blows 4-stroke lead with 4 holes to play in 2012 British Open.
    Rory McIlroy: shoots a final-round 80 as he went in with the 54-hole lead (2011 Masters).
    Ernie Els: shoots a final-round 80 as he was in 2nd place (2004 US Open).
    Greg Norman: shoots final-round 78 with a 6-stroke lead to lose the 1996 Masters.

    It DOES happen … and that’s just some Major Championships. And these guys account for a total of 14 grand slams titles.

  10. Well Marcus, I can’t help but agree with your, IMO, accurate assessment of DP. This type of defeat continues to expose him as to the QB he is, above average to good, certainly NOT GREAT.

    With the weapons he has at his disposal, not scoring a single point until the 56th minute, in GARBAGE TIME, is pretty pathetic. And the trying of many to conflate the other upsets this past weekend, should not somehow negate THIS embarrassing loss to a very mediocre team AT HOME. Look at the other teams the Broncos beat this year, till this game. Bottom dwellers. Of course there will be the excuses;

    Is he healthy?
    “The practice wasn’t crisp”.
    “The timing is not down”. After all it’s only the EIGHTH game of the season.
    The play calling.

    To DP’s credit, he usually doesn’t use excuses.

    DP gets more media buzz than probably all other QBs. Cowboys are pushed and promoted better than any other team. They simply draw an audience better, because of their huge, very loyal, PATIENT fan base, hence the NFL and network TV will over promote the team and it’s “MVP” in waiting QB.

    Bottom line, a disgraceful loss. And keeping status quo with the other NFC LEAST TEAMS is no solace.

  11. Just live with the obvious embarrassment!! You finally realize that you are going to really stink at times wondering what happened. Sometimes being consumed with visiting strip clubs, drinking, screwing off and not focusing on your job really hurts everyone. I guess the fans and the team now realized the hype is just that and the constant weekly build-up of hype in the balloon has now deflated to reality. Hype is good for Jerry’s ticket sales but not for achieving a win.

  12. I think it was Jack Nicholas that said (and I paraphrase) “There are a lot of guys that play great golf, but there are very few that ever become great golfers.”

    Dak proved to me once again that while he undeniably, plays great football, he is not a great qb. He started bad. Got worse. Looked lost and confused. Never woke up. Never led. I was embarrassed for him. Any excuses fans and writers give to him are only attempts to legitimize his performance and to spread the blame to others. This was Dak. Dak at his worst.

    This was a pro golfer leading by 5 strokes entering the final round, and then shooting a 96 on National TV. Great ones just don’t do that.

  13. A lot more happening besides TS not being in the lineup. While we should definitely be in the market for a LT, as this is becoming a more pressing problem as time goes by, that alone did not “spoil DP’s return”. DP was over throwing, missing not by a little. I don’t see how at the eighth game of the season, the “timing” is not down.

    This one sided embarrassing defeat shows that this team still has things to, as many say, “clean up”. Hopefully it’s cleaned up before their next game.

  14. Sometimes u get a perfect storm stinker (even the good teams). For whatever reason the cowboys weren’t ready to play and the Broncos definitely were. Everything just seemed to go the Broncos way, but credit to them for taking it to the cowboys.

    Considering he came off a long layoff and may or may not be healthy, I’ll give Dak a pass for this one game. But he needs to be better period.

    We saw what the defense can look like when we don’t force turnovers. The run defense in particular worries me. Teams will go ball control and run the ball down our throats until we show we can stop it.

    Thank god for our uber talented rookie LB Parsons. So exciting to watch. What a stud.

  15. What I do not fully understand is why do the boys keep trying to run the ball on 3rd and 1and fourth and one when the defense knows that they don not try fakes early in the game. Defenses sell all out now to stop the run, use your fakes and use a quick pass to your third string tight end. This will surely catch the defense off guard with the hulk fake. RPO option. Quick slant. Quick out.

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