Tony Romo has become the most sensational broadcaster across the National Football League, and he’s only two games in. If this was the performance of a player people would be saying, “don’t put him in Canton yet!” in the way they love to do so.
What’s become one of Romo’s calling cards has been his ability to seemingly predict what’s going to happen. He’ll call a player that’s getting the ball, a particular route, a situation that will unfold, basically Tony Romo is seeing the future.
In a new series here at BTB I’ll be attempting to do my best impersonation of Romo (I will undoubtedly fail). We’re about to predict the future, in terms of narratives that will surface after every Cowboys game.
What will we see across this week with the influence of the drubbing they took in Denver? I’m glad you asked (points to Romo poster).
“Dak Prescott has hit a sophomore slump”
The narrative that Dak Prescott would regress during his second year in the NFL is a drum that many have been waiting to beat since the middle of his rookie season. Given the fact that Dak and Co. got humiliated in Denver yesterday, they’re getting their mallets ready.
Dak was 30/50 (fifty!) for 238 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. This is startling considering that that’s half of the amount of picks he threw across all of last season.
Whether the pundits believe it or not, Dak Prescott was hardly the problem in Denver. He did what he could, the Broncos defense was suffocating, and the Cowboys simply got beat. Ain’t no sophomore slump here, folks.
“The Cowboys don’t have the NFL’s best offensive line”
Part of why their quarterback didn’t have his best day at the office was the offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys not having their best. It wasn’t surprising that Denver brought some heat, but it created a lot of havoc for Dak to evade.
La’el Collins played admirably in handling Von Miller (who really broke things open in the fourth when he could rush freely), but there’s no denying the unit as a whole didn’t do their job. It doesn’t mean they’re not the best in the game at this time, though.
“Ezekiel Elliott isn’t a team player”
With 6:41 left to play in the third quarter and the Broncos leading 28-10, Dak Prescott threw a pass into the opposing team’s hands for the first time this season.
Dak Prescott’s first interception came after a pass bounced off of Dez Bryant and into the arms of Chris Harris, Jr.. Zeke was in the middle of running his route past the point of where the interception occurred.
By the time Elliott turned around Harris was already sprinting towards the Dallas endzone, away from Zeke. Unfortunately Elliott didn’t full-out sprint the way most would like, and opted to just sort of walk off while the rest of the play unfolded.
Is it practical to believe that Zeke would have caught Harris? Of course not. Is it understandable that this isn’t the best look for a football player? Definitely.
However you feel about whether Zeke should have chased Harris down, the big-time story will be that he gave up, quit, and lost all interest.
“The Cowboys secondary is terrible”
I’ll be the first to admit that I championed Nolan Carroll over the tail end of last week, and I accept my L graciously (pauses for tomatoes to be thrown). For what it’s worth though, nobody was really playing amazingly for the Cowboys in the secondary.
Anthony Brown struggled, albeit he was one of two remaining active corners for most of the game. Jeff Heath took poor angles. Jourdan Lewis was a rookie in his first action ever and it showed. We could go on and on.
The reality is that the Cowboys have a lot of work to do in the secondary, and a lot of that is simply getting healthy. But you can bet your bottom dollar someone will say you can’t win a Super Bowl with a shoddy back of your defense.
“Dallas erred by going heavy at wide receiver”
When the inactive players were announced prior to the Broncos game, few were surprised. The most notable things were that Bene Benwikere was inactive and that rookies Jourdan Lewis and Noah Brown were active.
We’d been anticipating these moves for most of last week (in fact our own Danny Phantom literally predicted them all), so it’s not like they didn’t make sense. Terrance Williams was limited this week, and questionable for the game, so activating Noah Brown was smart.
Having six wide receivers looked like a really bad decision though, when Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie were both ruled out for the game (concussion and hamstring, respectively). Troy Aikman noted on the call that the Cowboys left Benwikere inactive.
I’m pretty sure if the Cowboys knew that they’d lose two cornerbacks in the game, they would’ve adjusted accordingly. They ran the risk, it bit them in the butt, and people will remind them all week.
“Dez Bryant isn’t one of the NFL’s top receivers”
This one is cheating a little since people have already said this for some time, but I’m making the rules up as I go along so let’s just all deal with it, fair?
Anyway, Dez Bryant got handled a little bit for the second week in a row. While Dez saw an enormous amount of targets (16), he was only able to haul in seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
While that sounds like a respectable stat line, Aqib Talib did get the better of him at times. In fact, when Dak was trying to force the Dez issue late, Talib even picked a Dez-intended pass and housed it for six.
Former Cowboys CB Deion Sanders on WR Dez Bryant today via the NFL Network: pic.twitter.com/H9u55baFxV— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 18, 2017
Is Dez Bryant straight up dominating people right now? Definitely not, but he’s still one of the best wide receivers in the game.
“The Cowboys need to lock up DeMarcus Lawrence long-term”
It’s fair to say that the only elite Dallas Cowboys performance in Denver was that of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. He’s off to a nice start this season.
DeMarcus Lawrence has 4 sacks in 2 games. First Cowboys player to reach 4 sacks last year was Tyrone Crawford on Dec. 11 (Week 14 at NYG).— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 18, 2017
It’s no secret that Lawrence is entering a contract year. Considering this, many are going to fear losing him already, even though we are literally only two weeks into the season.
Someone is going to call for a long-term contract for Lawrence. I’m calling this one like Kobe.
“The Cowboys have a hamstring issue”
It is a bit startling how many different players on the Cowboys seem to deal with hamstring injuries, and Chidobe Awuzie is the latest (he was on this list in the preseason as well).
Chidobe isn’t just one of a few Cowboys dealing with this, he’s one of a few specifically in his rookie class. Jourdan Lewis and Ryan Switzer were both nursing hamstrings between training camp and preseason.
It’s fair to wonder about this and raise the question as to whether it’s something legitimate as opposed to just coincidence, but it’s much closer to the latter than it is the former.
“Taco Charlton was a mistake in the first round”
Since being chosen by the Cowboys in the first round, Taco Charlton has had it rough in terms of perception across Cowboys fans (not as rough as Nolan Carroll though). It hasn’t helped his case that fan-favorite T.J. Watt has been performing well in Pittsburgh (although he was hurt Sunday, we hope he’s alright).
Taco Charlton wasn’t really anywhere to be seen during the loss in Denver, and that’s not exactly surprising. Taco is still coming along, but he’s obviously not to the point where he’s going to make a huge difference in a regular season game (cue the “then why did we draft him!” screams).
At this point all we can do is be patient when it comes to Taco, and that makes sense, but there will definitely be people who are already ready to throw in the Taco-shaped towel.
“The Cowboys will have a better pass rush with Damontre Moore”
Of all the predictable headlines we’ve discussed, this is honestly the one that makes the most sense. So good job me for saying it (pats self on back).
We are now in Week 3 of the 2017 season which means that Damontre Moore is eligible to return to the Cowboys (he was serving a two-game suspension). Moore looked great in training camp and preseason, and it’s exciting to see what he can bring to the regular season table.
The Cowboys are flirting with the idea of a legitimate pass rush right now. DeMarcus Lawrence is the one doing all of it, but they’re still flirting with the idea nonetheless. A potential wingman is on the way in the form of Damontre, and you know the world is going to be excited for it.