Thursday night was huge for the Dallas Cowboys as their win over the New Orleans Saints helped reinforce their hopes of winning the NFC East. Life is certainly good at the moment.
It was a tough game for Dallas. They had to grind it out and flex all of their defensive muscle as they won 13-10. As they say, a win is a win and they all count the same so there certainly should be no disappointment from any Cowboys fans.
Dallas did struggle a bit offensively throughout the game though, and while we all hope that it will get better the fact remains that the struggle is real. They had penalties that killed drives, a few questionable calls, and in certain moments they just couldn’t get it done. It happens. You’re never going to be totally perfect.
Something the Cowboys do that is far from perfect typically comes on second or third down after a negative play. If Dallas has more than 10 yards to go you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re running a screen play or dump off of sorts. This feels like something that we all know, but we found out after the game that the New Orleans Saints really did know.
Saints DT David Onyemata: The mantra was to come in & stop the run game & we came in & I think we did that to a certain extent. You could tell just looking at film you can see their screen game and how effective that is. That is their go-to after things don’t go too well. Like the big play, that is what kept them in the game, I would say.
It’s definitely not ideal for the opposing team to know your “go-to after things don’t go too well.” As mentioned the Cowboys won this game and that’s what’s most important, but it’s undeniable that they are very predictable. The Saints literally told us that. On the other hand, almost every NFL team has a go-to play or two in their playbook that they rely on.
In fairness, there are times when a screen pass is a great call. Who doesn’t love seeing Ezekiel Elliott get in space with Zack Martin in front of him? We’ve seen that do wonders for the Cowboys over the last few seasons, the trick is keeping defenses from recognizing and stopping it.
Scott Linehan has his work cut out for him if the Cowboys are going to keep up this momentum they’ve got going on. There’s celebrating to be done, but there’s a whole lot of season still to be played as well.