Once again, the Cowboys squandered a second-half lead and lost a heartbreaker. They now enter the bye week at 2-3 with too many questions and not enough answers. Social media was an absolute five-alarm dumpster fire yesterday evening following the crushing 35-31 loss to the rival Packers. There will be plenty of time to dwell on this as the Cowboys don’t play again until October 22nd. Here are just a few sensible social media thoughts or reactions.
Clearly, the Cowboys miss Sean Lee but it was ultimately smart to not rush him back. Jaylon Smith has struggled mightily in these past two games. Everyone believes in Jaylon as a future star in this defense but he needs a more limited role going forward. As his nerve continues to regenerate, he’s not able to change direction as quickly as he needs to. In two weeks, quarterbacks have figured out ways to exploit his current limitations.
I honestly have no takes coming off of this game.— Joey Ickes (@JoeyIckes) October 9, 2017
I wonder how diff the game is w/ Sean Lee, but other than that, I just think The margin btwn GBs O and DAL D is larger than the inverse.
Pre-injury Jaylon Smith stops AR short of a first down. pic.twitter.com/NJmDiXRhpw— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 9, 2017
That's three consecutive plays where Jaylon Smith has given Green Bay extra yards. Sean Lee needs to get healthy.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 8, 2017
Smith’s had to carry the load while Lee and Anthony Hitchens have been banged up. Hitchens returned and Lee is expected to return after the bye, Smith needs some relief.
Let’s move on to the criticism of the Cowboys last offensive drive. The second and goal pass is under tremendous scrutiny as only bad results could come from that try.
On the 2nd and 1 pass, it looks like a RPO. Dak decides to throw it. Not a wise decision. pic.twitter.com/AMbBjxRbmN— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 9, 2017
They were running the ball extremely well and another run just may have forced the Packers to use their final timeout. Instead, it stopped the clock, Dallas scored on the very next play and the numbers 1:13 will live in infamy.
Here is what separates Cowboys from 4-1 record, tied 1st NFC East. Have ball with 1:55 and can't score vs Rams. 1:13 and can't stop GB.— Babe Laufenberg (@BabeLaufenberg) October 9, 2017
What’s a little silly though is the criticism that Dak Prescott take a knee at the one-half mark. They needed six points and Dak gave it to them. You’re not guaranteed anything and getting cute can cost you.
Garrett: "Obviously you'd like to bleed the clock down as much as you can... but the first objective has to be to score a touchdown."— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) October 9, 2017
What’s ultimately crushing is that the Cowboys’ offense finally looked like itself after weeks of lamenting:
2/2 #Cowboys O finally played well: 408 yds, 58.8% on third down,4/4 in red zone, no pass for clock mismanage but willing to watch after bye— ✭Michael Sisemore✭ (@MrSisemore) October 9, 2017
Games like these typically come down to the team that makes an untimely mistake. The Cowboys had a few of them from only one empty possession in the third quarter to Terrance Williams missing a catch he has to make:
It might be time to sit Terrance Williams. This isn't even close. pic.twitter.com/7GqzfUKozd— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 9, 2017
Now, Marcus is bit extreme there about sitting him but that pick-six was just bad.
Garrett: "Terrance will be the first to tell you" that he has to catch the ball that led to the #Packers pick 6. Has to be caught, 10/10 x.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) October 9, 2017
The expectations may have been set to high for this Cowboys’ team following 13-3 and the complete restructure of their secondary. Still, 2-3, is not encouraging moving forward. What happened against the Packers hurts but it’s miserable when you tack on that loss to the Rams. The Cowboys have looked like a first-half team that cannot close.
Asking an outmatched defense to stop the two-time league MVP, Super Bowl champion, and All-time leader in passer rating is a tough task. Aaron Rodgers has 18 game-winning drives with 12 in the fourth quarter.
That’s a guy who has won 94 games in the NFL and the Cowboys had 11 defenders who played significant snaps with less than four years of NFL experience. The defense hasn’t been good but the Cowboys’ offense hasn’t helped with third-quarter absences.
The #Cowboys haven’t scored any points in the third quarter in any of the three losses. 0. Zip. Nada. None. Zilch.— Connor (@connorx147) October 9, 2017
The bashing is going to continue for the next 13 days as it should for everyone who has made 2-3 possible. However, with 11 games left, the potential for this team to rise out of this hasn’t died just yet.
I think the Cowboys are a really good team that is very close to playing winning football. It is a game of inches. They aren't far off. https://t.co/hgbS99r9pD— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) October 9, 2017
The running game is a common gripe but they’re not exactly awful. The line is trying to gel but to say they can’t run is quite the stretch. Ezekiel Elliott is a darn good football player.
How spoiled we are as Cowboys fans. Zeke still 4th in the league. And 1 big game from 2nd. But people paid to say we have no run game. https://t.co/JimIfmCWav— Chris (@ChrisJNFL) October 9, 2017
Fastest to 2,000 career rushing yards:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 9, 2017
Eric Dickerson: 18 games
Earl Campbell: 20 games
Ezekiel Elliott: 20 games
Another quick reaction has been for folks to talk about Dak Prescott struggling to perform in year two. That’s way misguided because he’s actually been pretty sensational.
Man. Look at Dak’s sophomore slump.— ✭ DCBlueStar ✭ (@DCBlueStar) October 9, 2017
112 of 179, 62.5% comp, 13 TOT TD, 4 INTs, 1192 yards... 10.64 yards per comp.
Agree. No sophomore slump here. This pace would be something like 36 pass TDs, 11 ints, 3,764 yds, 6 rushing TDs, 99 passer rating. Dak good https://t.co/JnKzu3aNEi— ✭Michael Sisemore✭ (@MrSisemore) October 9, 2017
Dak Prescott over the last three games:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 9, 2017
64.4 completion percentage, 686 passing yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs, 107.9 passer rating, 2 rushing TDs
They are definitely not done. Long season, and the offense finally clicked. https://t.co/QedbyaU5Sk— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) October 9, 2017
There are so many questions that this team will be asking themselves over the next two weeks. We hear nothing but confidence out of the players and they’re well aware of how inconsistent they have been. The Cowboys have really brought the mood down but they can still dig themselves out. Hopefully, the Cowboys will find every answer they need in the bye week.