The Cowboys have disappointed to start off the year but there were a few guys who make their future look brighter. On the other hand, there are others that seem to be underwhelming and replaceable. Who are the Cowboys that are impressing and which are dragging behind?
The Cowboys rookie safety seems light years ahead of current veterans on this team. He sees the play and reacts without looking out of place. In this loss, he was by far one of the top performers.
Xavier Woods when he's on the field is the best safety on the Cowboys roster.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) October 2, 2017
It was only a matter of time before his instincts earned him a bigger role but four games was mighty quick. Woods has played well as a nickel corner or safety when asked. His best fit is at safety and luckily that’s where they need someone badly.
If we’re going to give Woods the nod, he needs to replace Jeff Heath. We don’t need any Twitter videos to prove that Heath is a liability in coverage for this defense. They tried an experiment and they were burned, it happens. The bigger problem will be if they continue to give Heath exposure.
At his best, he’s a phenomenal special teams player that makes plays in limited opportunities. However, Heath has been exposed in four games and is no longer worthy of a starting role. The whole team has been wildly inconsistent but Jeff Heath has exacerbated some of their defensive woes with poor angles and poor tackling.
Zeke had one of his best games against the Rams. It didn’t matter in the end:
Cowboys rushed for 189 yards, most since at Green Bay last year (191). ... Tell me that before the game and I would've said they win easily— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 2, 2017
Having both a rushing and receiving touchdown was huge for this offense yet they still came out of the half flatter than we’ve seen in some time. Elliott played well and had big plays that showed his capabilities of taking over. He did his part to bring home a win but others failed him. They will need Elliott to keep producing these type of performances and maybe that will translate to wins in the near future.
For the third time in four games, Prescott struggled in parts of the game. Sure, he had great throws in the first half, they were clicking, but in the second half, you might as well put Dak on a milk carton. He was missing and that’s disappointing after willing his team to victory in week three. Prescott was missing high, low, and everywhere in between. Dropped passes by Terrance Williams, overthrows to Dez Bryant, and a vanilla attack after halftime doomed them to a loss.
He’s still very young but Prescott must find the magic he had last year. At this point, defenses are not scared of Dak Prescott and they’re going to force him to beat them. Call it a slump or whatever you want, this offense has sputtered and they have no shot when their quarterback is a no-show for the majority of the second half.
Missing Lee was huge in this game and the defense most certainly felt it. Without Lee, they allowed Todd Gurley to get over 200 total yards. This defense obviously needs him as Lee disguises others deficiencies. Jaylon Smith, as much as you want to see the full recovery, is not recovered yet. Smith’s change of direction is not there yet.
This team missed Lee in a huge way because he makes tackles. He’s hoping to return this week. Without Sean Lee, the middle of the Cowboys’ defense is severely compromised. They don’t have the guys that can play close to his level. It’s obvious, but he’s a huge part of any success they have on the defense.
It’s uncertain what is ailing this offense but they are nowhere near the team they once were. They completed third down after third down in the first half then managed to convert two for the rest of the game. The offensive line hasn’t gelled and even those All-Pros are struggling.
It’s a tough task to flip the script in such short a period of time. Their defense has surprisingly given them chance after chance even though they’re not playing great either. That’s why all of this falls on the once proven strength of the team. No offense for Dallas? No chance at winning. Until this team can show a sense of urgency to close guys out, they’re not contending for anything. The offense needs a wake up call in the most dramatic way.