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The good, the bad and the ugly of the Cowboys loss to the Broncos

A very humbling loss for the Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys rode into Denver on a high after coming off their first victory against the New York Giants in four tries. The Broncos had a narrow win against division-rival San Diego last week and both teams were looking forward to starting a winning streak. Unfortunately, for Cowboys Nation, the Dallas Cowboys faltered often and found themselves on the wrong end of a blowout against the Denver Broncos.

The Good

Losing 42-17 is never good and Dallas walks away with very little to hang their hat on. Their running game was worse than obsolete and their defense made Trevor Siemian look like Peyton Manning. The silver lining of this horrible loss is that it is early in the year. It should wipe out any notion that they are anointed NFC East champs, or penciled-in as playoff contenders, but they can recover.

Ever since a convincing victory at home against the New York Giants, the pundits pinned Dallas as the team to beat in the division, and a team that could compete for the Lombardi trophy. This convincing loss is humiliating for the leaders on the team as they saw a subpar performance throughout the game. This loss puts Dallas in a tie for the division lead at 1-1 with Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Depending on how the New York Giants do on Monday Night Football, there might be a four way tie for first place in the NFC East.

Look for Jason Garrett and company to practice harder than ever throughout the week and come out stronger in Arizona. This loss should humble the team, but it should also make them more resolute and hungrier to rebound and prove themselves. There is still plenty of time to rebound, as they are still 1-1 and in a tie for the NFC East.

The Bad

Ezekiel Elliott is a premier running back in the National Football League and proved his worth throughout his entire rookie season. Every stud has an off day but this was a historically ineffective day. Elliott recorded eight yards on nine carries, a horrifically bad day for the superstar back. As discussed frequently, the Dallas offense relies on Zeke and the offensive line and when this group cannot move the ball, Dak Prescott is unable to lead the Cowboys to victory on his own merit.

Outside of Elliott’s subpar performance, the entire Dallas offense started uncharacteristically slow. Four of the first five drives ended in a punt and two of those were a 3-and-out. The only positive drive that Dallas had in the first half (outside of a late field goal) was a quick touchdown to Dez Bryant after a DeMarcus Lawrence sack.

The Ugly

The defensive unit came off of an impressive performance against a short-handed New York Giants team and waltzed into Denver with plenty of confidence. They were humiliated early and often as Trevor Sieiman had four touchdowns and C.J Anderson had 118 yards and one touchdown. This game makes Cowboys Nation more appreciative of Odell Beckham Jr’s absence last week which might have masked an otherwise shaky defensive unit.

Yes, there were injuries to the secondary. But there were far too many missed tackles, blown assignments and poor footwork that led to far too many third-down conversions for the Broncos. It was an ugly performance.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a tie for the NFC East and are 1-0 in the division after suffering the third worst loss in the Jason Garrett era. They can rebound, but it all starts next week with Arizona.