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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Pass Rush Failed to Exploit Texans’ OL

The Cowboys received their third loss of the season playing on in Houston. It's a loss that comes with very painful after thoughts as we take a look at the following opponents and realize that the schedule is only getting tougher. But let's talk about what we learned last Sunday from the .

Here's this week's ! I hope you enjoy.

Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch Continue to Impress

Out of the few positive notes we can write regarding the Cowboys' loss to the Texans is the performance of the linebackers. Filling for the injured veteran , and have played insanely well as the team's starters.

Vander Esch led the team with 14 tackles, 11 of which were solo. His play as a rookie has been really amazing and has silenced many critics of the Cowboys 19th overall pick, myself included. The Boise State product has nowhere to go but up as he continues to develop as an NFL linebacker and gets more snaps under his name.

Jaylon Smith finished the night with 12 tackles and boy, oh boy, was he impressive on goal line . Where the Cowboys' defense shined the most was when the Texans came so close to scoring but Dallas held their ground, in big part thanks to Smith.

That right there is the guy the Cowboys were thinking of when they took the risk of drafting him in the of the 2016 .

Pass Rush Failed to Exploit Texan's Weak OL

The Cowboys had the advantage coming into this game, facing the most hit QB prior to week 5. As a front seven that had been racking up sacks every game, we expected a big game for DeMarcus Lawrence and company.

But in that, the defense failed. The got pressure in a few plays, including the one that resulted in an interception by . But it wasn't consistent, which was one of the main keys to win this football game. was sacked only once all night long, and enjoyed a fair amount of time to throw each pass. That's especially dangerous when is playing at WR. The Cowboys learned that the hard way.

Once Again, Passing Game Was Terrible

Blame the , the wide receivers, the tight ends and staff for the Cowboys' poor performance on . The truth is all of them are at fault. 's stat line will tell the story of  him throwing two interceptions, but it won't tell you about the two passes that could have been picked off for touchdowns.

It also won't tell you that should've caught the pass that resulted in a turnover. The throw was not good enough, but as an NFL , that's a catch Austin had to make.

Out 208, 119 yards came in three plays. Three receptions accounted for more than half of Dak Prescott's passing yards. There are a lot of problems on this offense, and more than one change needs to happen before this is fixed.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Punt Away Chance at Division Lead with Heartbreak in Houston
Dallas Cowboys HC  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A Game Ultimately Lost by Coaching

Now, we can't be done with this week's Takeaway Tuesday without mentioning the play that ultimately cost the Cowboys the game. Punting the ball on fourth and one has been the worst decision in coaching through five weeks of the .

Let's lay out some facts:

  • The team has invested picks in , , . A second round pick in . The team is built to run the ball.
  • Since Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott entered the NFL, the Cowboys are 18/19 on fourth and one when going for it.
  • Despite a strong performance, the defense had been letting the Texans enter field goal range, which is all Houston needed to win the game.
  • On the opponent's 42, Jason Garrett was scared to run the football with one of the top running backs in the NFL.

The Cowboys were destined to lose as soon as they punted the ball away. Looking back on this game, as bad as execution was, as bad as play calling was… this is the play where the Cowboys could've gotten a perfect chance to win it in overtime. had a great day kicking the ball and he would've successfully kicked the game winning field goal.

If there has been a moment in which we truly felt like change is coming soon, this might be it. What's going to change between now and next year? It's very hard to have faith in Jason Garrett right now.

Mauricio Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguez
I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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David carter

Garrett always says, “we never blinked.” Guess what Garrett? YOU BLINKED!


No Doubt! If we lose this week to the Jaguars then Garrett may be a goner before the end of the season! I hope so either way mid season or at the end! IMO I don’t see Jerry firing JG before the end of the season but if we go down like the titanic then watch out he may give the reins to Richard and let him have some games under his belt before he let’s him have for good! Wishful thinking on my part but we got to have some life and excitement back in BIG D because right now its BLAND!!!

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