The Cowboys came into Thanksgiving's matchup with the Buffalo Bills hoping to add some cushion to their NFC East lead prior to the Eagles' very winnable game Sunday.
Instead, they put forth one of their worst performances in recent memory, getting pantsed on national television by the now 9-3 Bills, 26-15.
There aren't a whole lot of positives Cowboys fans can takeaway from this loss. The team looks lost, unmotivated, and flat-out bad as of late. Their once great offense has sputtered to early 2018 levels over the last two weeks, and even their seemingly unflappable quarterback has played poorly.
Things are bad in Dallas right now, and if they want any chance to salvage a season that was once thought of as championship or bust, they'll need to play much better than they did on Thursday.
- At this point, it's hard to imagine a realistic world where Jason Garrett is the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys next season. The 2019 version of the Cowboys is one of the most disappointing groups in sometime. They've underachieved relative to both their roster talent and strength of schedule, and Thursday's loss to Buffalo was one of the worst during Garrett's tenure. An 11 point loss doesn't look too bad at first glance, but this was a complete and total embarrassment. Outside of the opening drive Dallas was dominated, both beating themselves with turnovers on offense and allowing Buffalo to do whatever they wanted for much of the night. This was bad. And it has a chance to get much worse.
- Quarterback Dak Prescott was a legit MVP candidate two weeks ago, but these last 10 days have changed a lot. Prescott struggled mightily in the first half of this loss, turning the ball over 3 times and getting bailed out of two more interceptions by defensive penalties. His road won't get any easier next week against the tough Chicago Bears passing defense.
- Cole Beasley embarrassed the Cowboys secondary on Thursday. He was an awful matchup for slot corner Jourdan Lewis, and the Bills absolutely exploited it to the tune of 110 yards and a touchdown. Dallas' defense did an okay job to keep the team in it despite awful offensive turnovers, but they had no chance against Beasley.
- Anyone still think Xavier Su'a-Filo is better than Connor Williams. Su'a-Filo's presence immediately brought doom to the Cowboys offense, as Ed Oliver had his way against the veteran backup. Williams isn't exactly an All-Pro guard, but he's improved a ton since his rookie season and is greatly missed on this offensive line.
- Normally I wave the flag for the Byron Jones bandwagon, but he was just not very good during this loss. Not only did he commit a third down pass interference, but he gave up some other big conversions throughout the game as well. Jones will need to get back to form next week against some talented receivers in Chicago.
- On the bright side, Amari Cooper looked like himself during the loss. Cooper went for 85 yards on 6 catches, and was much more sharp and precise in his routes. Cooper had arguably his worst game as a pro last week in New England, so it was good to see him get back on track.
- Running back Ezekiel Elliott has now put together two rather strong weeks in a row. Elliott had 71 yards on just 12 carries, and also contributed 66 yards receiving on 7 catches. He's looked much more explosive and decisive in recent weeks.
- All is technically not lost for the Cowboys. At worst they'll be tied for first place with the Philadelphia Eagles after Sunday, and they still hold the tie breaker due to their victory a few weeks ago. Their remaining schedule is far from daunting, and there is a world where Dallas runs the table and enters the postseason at 10-6. Right now, though, that feels like a pipe dream.