After only five weeks of football, the Dallas Cowboys have lost as many games as they did in 2016. Sitting at 2-3, Cowboys Nation should be concerned about what's ahead. This team will head into their bye week with a lot of things to work on.
However, it's too early to press that panic button. With 11 games left, Jason Garrett and company will have the opportunity to forget this slow start and get back on the playoffs.
Today, we discuss what we learned from the Dallas Cowboys' third loss of the season. Here is this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday.
Terrance Williams Isn't Helping This Offense, Will Butler See The Field More?
Personally, I liked the idea of having Terrance Williams for four more years when he re-signed with the team. I really thought it was a nice decision. Besides, the contract was pretty friendly.
But right now, I wouldn't be surprised if Dallas gives Butler more snaps after Williams' bad plays. Versus the Rams, Williams dropped a 2-point conversion that would've tied the game. Last week, he caused a pick-six all because he tried to catch the football with his body.
And that's the biggest issue with Terrance Williams. For some reason, he can't use his hands to catch the ball. This is the NFL. If you're a WR in this league, you better know how to use your hands.
I can't help wondering if the Cowboys will give Brice Butler more snaps to give him an opportunity to impress. He's had more than a few big plays this season and it sure would be interesting to see something like this develop.
David Irving Is Back At Sacking Quarterbacks
The Cowboys got one of their best pass rushers back last Sunday, as David Irving returned from his four game suspension. With DeMarcus Lawrence playing the way he's been playing at LDE, Irving took the field as a DT.
I love this. This defense is far from good and they need to keep Irving and Lawrence on the field at the same time.
David Irving sacks Aaron Rodgers in his season debut for the #DallasCowboys https://t.co/dg7JCojyuV
David Irving had two sacks and three QB hits on his season debut. With 95 playing next to D-Law, the pass rush will get better down the road. It won't be an elite pass rush, but it will be decent. And at this point, decent will be a big improvement for this defense.
Jourdan Lewis Has Been This Team's Best Cornerback
The Cowboys defense as a whole is not good. But the secondary is very promising. There are three rookie defensive backs who are actually looking to become starters pretty soon. And out of every cornerback on the team, third-round rookie Jourdan Lewis might be having the best season so far.
The game-winner TD by Rodgers was against Lewis, but still. He had seven tackles, five of which were solo. Three passes defended. These numbers are huge for a rookie who missed part of the offseason practices and all of the preseason.
The Cowboys found a starter on the third round of the NFL Draft, and I'm convinced we will see more and more from him soon.
Jaylon Smith Is Hurting This Defense
The hype around Smith has been very high. Cowboys Nation was incredibly excited to see the product from Notre Dame, and the long wait to see him just made the excitement higher.
Jaylon is healthy enough to play now. However, it doesn't look like he is 100%. Not even close. To be honest, I don't think Smith would've received as much playing time had Anthony Hitchens been healthy to open the season.
Pre-injury Jaylon Smith stops AR short of a first down. pic.twitter.com/NJmDiXRhpw
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 9, 2017
With a healthy Sean Lee, Hitchens would've probably started over Jaylon against the Packers.
Jaylon Smith will end up being a great player for this defense. But he is not a starter right now. This defense will be better with Hitchens and Lee at LB.
Cowboys Offense Is Working Again
Now, the Cowboys may have lost last week, but there are good news!
Obviously, the weakness for this team remains the defense. That's something we know. The Cowboys scored 30 points against the Rams and 31 against the Packers. And they still lost the game.
However, take the LA Rams game for instance. Dak Prescott completed 9 out of 21 passes in the second half and the offense scored six points. They were being outplayed after halftime.
However, even though they lost, the Cowboys offense got it going. Dak Prescott ended his days with 25 completions for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Oh, that's just passing. He also ran for 37 yards and another TD.
Ezekiel Elliott was grinding yards in the fourth quarter, leaving the game with 116 rushing yards. Beasley caught two touchdowns. Dez Bryant had himself a nice day. Jason Witten caught eight passes. Everyone on offense had a day… except 83.
This team still has a chance to turn it around. And even though the Cowboys lost in heartbreaking fashion, the season isn't over. 10 wins might get you to the playoffs in the NFC. The Eagles have a rough couple of weeks up ahead. It wouldn't take much to see Dallas back at the top of the division.
It's way too early to call it a season. Go Cowboys.