For the fourth time this season we find ourselves, as Dallas Cowboys fans, on the wrong side of .500, and unfortunately we have double the time to let this particular loss settle in our bellies.
The Cowboys lost on Sunday and to make matters worse they lost to a division rival who’s not very good. This is a tough pill to swallow but consider this the big bottle of water that helps you do it.
Welcome to a weekly tradition of ours here at BTB. We’ve got five winners, five losers, and whatever else find along the way. If the rules didn’t state that there were only five losers today would be a whole lot different around here. Let’s begin.
Winner: Parity in the NFC East
We knew all week long that Dallas headed to Washington with first place in the division on the line, but things changed a bit when the Philadelphia Eagles lost in Week 7.
Cowboys fans everywhere all had the same conversation with themselves. We rationalized how Philly lost, said that it wasn’t farfetched for Dallas to win the division, and we let the magic of hope weave its way through our minds. Hope is a dangerous thing, man.
Washington stands alone with four wins, but the Cowboys and Eagles are right behind them with three each. It’s quite frustrating that Dallas can’t put together a team good enough to cake walk through such a lowly division, but welcome to parity.
Winner: Dak Prescott’s toughness
There are a lot of things that emerged from Sunday’s game in Washington, and Dak’s toughness is certainly among them. The quarterback took quite a shot (that somehow didn’t result in a penalty) early in the game and his predecessor got a little overdramatic about it in the booth up above.
Tony Romo insisted immediately that Dak was “done” and “didn’t know where he was,” but in spite of all of that Dak battled his way back into the game. What’s more is that Dak battled his way back into the game late (admittedly after his own error that cost the team seven points) by putting them in a position to win.
Dak Prescott isn’t perfect. He also isn’t a lot of other things. One thing he definitely is is tough.
Winner: Sean Lee and the idea that he could play forever
When the Cowboys needed a critical stop late in the game on third down we saw Redskins quarterback Alex Smith take off to the outside. Sean Lee came running in like a madman and stopped Smith before he could get near the first down and he even managed to push the quarterback out of bounds. It was incredible.
There were many, myself included, that thought Lee shouldn’t play this game because the Cowboys were so close to the bye. It turns out the Cowboys needed Lee’s services in our nation’s capital but even they weren’t enough to seal the deal.
Winner: Jourdan Lewis’ versatility!
There was no Tavon Austin on the offensive side of the ball for the Cowboys, but never fear, Jourdan Lewis is here! Seriously! We got to see Jourdan Lewis the cornerback take a jet sweep for the Cowboys and he even gained yards.
Scott Linehan has been trying to wrinkle things like you wouldn’t believe. He’s taken the clothes that are the Cowboys offense, tied them into a ball, and thrown them in the dryer. They’re going to get wrinkles one way or another even if that means he has to pull Jourdan Lewis into the action.
In all seriousness we’ve gotten to see Lewis involved a bit more as of late thanks to injuries and what not. He’s an athlete that can do a lot of things so good on the Cowboys for recognizing that and trying to utilize it.
Winner: Michael Gallup SZN
We’ve been waiting what feels like forever for the Cowboys’ third-round rookie to make an appearance in the endzone this season, and Sunday we got our wish.
WHAT A TOUCHDOWN FOR MICHAEL GALLUP pic.twitter.com/J0yfKrLJEb— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) October 21, 2018
Truth be told we almost saw Gallup gallop (LOOK WHAT I DID THERE) into the paint last week, but he didn’t get enough feet down and instead chose to defy gravity. There was no question about it in Washington this time, Michael Gallup smoked his man and trotted on in for a score. It was beautiful.
Seeing Gallup progress over the last weeks has been rewarding for Cowboys fans. It’s time for the Cowboys themselves to start rewarding him with more reps.
Loser: Tony Romo’s potential as a medical physician
As mentioned, Tony Romo really overreacted to Dak Prescott taking a shot on the sideline. It was obvious that Dak had taken a big shot, but Romo is the lead color analyst on the network and was saying that Dak didn’t know where he was. It was a stretch at best.
Lost in the fold of Sunday's action was Tony Romo's overreaction to Dak Prescott when he took the big hit early on.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 22, 2018
Romo was proclaiming things like Dak was done and didn't know where he was. Dak did enter the medical tent but didn't miss any time. pic.twitter.com/MsVX2A91h0
We know that Romo is capable of a lot of things. He’s a great quarterback, comeback artist, maker of “crownies” in commercials, and he’s one of the best color analysts in the game today.
He’s not a doctor and putting out on the broadcast that Dak “didn’t know where he was” ever so confidently wasn’t a good idea.
Loser: The thought of winning on the road this season
The Cowboys have played half of their road games in 2018. Half. HALF! That flew by.
Unfortunately the Cowboys have lost literally every single one of their road games this season and that’s never something that you want to be true of your team. In a shocking turn of events Dallas has only been able to win at AT&T Stadium this year, and if you can’t win on the road you’ve got big problems in the NFL.
Dallas will have to wait an awfully long time to prove that they can win on the road as they’re now on bye and host the Tennessee Titans in their next game. Can they win on the road? We’ll have to wait and see.
Loser: Objectivity in the world of a “snap infraction”
The world is still reeling over L.P. Ladouceur’s ridiculous penalty call before Brett Maher’s attempted game-winning kick, and the NFL’s explanation video offered little clarity on the subject.
The false start-illegal snap penalty called on the Cowboys long snapper that moved the kick back to 52 yds was horrible. The snapper followed the same routine & did nothing to draw the Redakins offside. We looked at it over & over and I don’t see how they could have called that.— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 22, 2018
Loser: The Cowboys offensive line
There are problems all along the Cowboys these days, but one of them is the offensive line and those are uncharted waters for us.
Nobody is saying the Cowboys offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL, but it’s definitely not the elite group that it’s been in season’s past. The guys up front aren’t bowling people over and the way the Cowboys roll is somewhat predicated on that being the case. Without that being true they’re stuck in quicksand to a degree.
Tyron Smith got worked in Washington. Connor Williams has rookie moments. Travis Frederick is still gone. Things aren’t going well and there’s not really a reason why they’ll start to turn around soon.
Loser: Jason Garrett’s belief in his offense
Much like two weeks ago in Houston, Jason Garrett folded the idea of his offense winning the game for him with the game on the line. He didn’t want any responsibility placed on their shoulders.
Jason Garrett’s squad didn’t allow their offense the opportunity to move things close on the game’s final possession and that is seemingly a large indictment on the state of the offense as a unit. Nobody seems to believe in them, not that there’s any reason to, and if their own coaching staff doesn’t why should anyone?
Five losers doesn’t seem like enough for a loss like this, but rules are rules. The Cowboys are now 3-4 at the bye and we’ll have to see what comes to town in two weeks with the Tennessee Titans. Time to hurry up and wait.