The Dallas Cowboys were unable to overcome the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, the Tyron Smith inactive status and Sean Lee’s in-game injury. Atlanta had their way with the Cowboys, so we try to sort out the winners and the losers.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith - We just learned how important they are to the Cowboys offense.
Dak Prescott’s legs - Without his efforts running the ball, scoring a touchdown, and avoiding the rush, this would have been even worse.
Anthony Hitchens - He had a nice game, and without Sean Lee he had more responsibility and was still the only guy making consistent plays.
Chaz Green - His two missed blocks lead to a sack and an incomplete pass on consecutive plays, killing the first drive and keeping the team out of FG range. It only got worse from there. More sacks flowed, constant pressure on Prescott, a holding call killed a crucial 1st down. He was awful. Adrian Clayborn was Lawrence Taylor for a day.
Cowboys offensive brain-trust - How they couldn’t figure out they needed to give Chaz Green help in the game was criminal. Adrian Clayborn basically wrecked the Cowboys offense by himself. It’s incomprehensible that they couldn’t figure out any way to compensate for Green’s shortcomings.
Jonathan Cooper/Rest of line - Sure Green was terrible, but the rest of the line was not great. The running game was terrible for most of the game. Zack Martin gave up a sack and a pressure. Byron Bell gave up two sacks, one was a fumble the Cowboys lost. Jonathan Cooper had two holding calls (one was offset), and he missed an easy block on a screen that looked very promising. Instead Dallas has to settle for a Mike Nugent FG, oh wait...Nugent missed it.
Mike Nugent - See above. You have one job, well actually a few, but still!
Sean Lee - Cowboys fans love him when he plays, but he has missed about every third game in his career. Now he’s hurt again.
Jaylon Smith - He’s just not ready, who knows if he ever will be. The Cowboys are now stuck if Lee is injured for anything length of time.
Cowboys playoff hopes - A loss they couldn’t afford, against another NFC team fighting for the playoffs. The season is starting to teeter on the edge. Next week, they basically have to beat the Eagles or it’s going to be a real long-shot to make the playoffs.