Zeke went as far to call the loss embarrassing.
“We can’t go out there and do that. We cannot. That is not us, at all,” Elliott said after the defeat. “It’s embarrassing. We’ve got to be better than that, way better.”
Dallas was held to 292 total yards with 112 on the ground, including 87 on 18 carries from Elliott. In the process, the Cowboys were shut out for the first time since 2003.
The struggles on offense were all the more frustrating considering Dallas dominated time of possession to start the game, but simply couldn’t finish drives.
Yeah, Sunday was ugly. You know things are bad when this defense plays poorly.
1. The defense was awful across the board. They couldn’t tackle. They got very little pressure on Andrew Luck. They didn’t make any plays in the secondary. The rushing defense had to be the worst of the season. The Colts have a good offense. They came in ranked eighth in the NFL at 382 yards and just under 27 points per game. But it was stunning to see the Cowboys play so poorly in all areas. For the first time since Week 7 in Washington, the Cowboys’ defense allowed points in the first quarter. They then did the same in the second, third and fourth.
And the redzone problems live on!
4. Why are the Cowboys such a disaster in the red zone? As much as fans would like to blame just offensive coordinator Scott Linehan or Dak Prescott or the offensive line, it’s really a combination of everything. When the protection is good, there’s a bad throw or a bad route or a dropped pass. When everything else goes well, Prescott is getting immediate pressure, or there’s a penalty for holding. The Cowboys are still very likely to make the playoffs, but as of right now, the red zone problems are the biggest reason to have doubts about a long postseason run.
Hard to argue...
A playoff spot? They’ve earned those expectations.
A Super Bowl? Child, please.
The team was due for a stinker, but not like this. This was a Porta Potty-style stench.
“We just came out there and didn’t do our jobs and we got beat in all aspects of the game,” Elliott said. “I think a loss like this was very much needed. It was better for us in the grand scheme of the season.”
The Cowboys started Sunday with a chance to clinch the NFC East, and the team played flat. That’s on this head coach, who by the fourth quarter looked like he was ready to punch one of the referees for their predictably erratic performance.
Prescott, who played poorly, calls Sunday loss a “wake-up call”.
Quarterback Dak Prescott said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, that the loss is a “wake-up call” and wide receiver Amari Cooper said the game has to be used “as a reminder.” Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had a similar take.
“When you on a winning streak, you think you are better than what you are until somebody comes hit you in your mouth,” Lawrence said, via Todd Archer of ESPN.com. “So, glad we got hit in the mouth today. I can’t wait to hit our next opponents in the mouth.”
The Buccaneers are up next and the Cowboys are going to have to make sure their punches are coming with something more behind them once it’s time for that matchup.
The addition of Amari Cooper netted the Cowboys five wins in six games, but Sunday saw the team unable to respond to adversity.
Amari Cooper tells Josina Anderson that the Cowboys didn’t execute their game plan in a shutout loss to the Colts.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Cowboys had trouble with getting Coop the football.
Coming off a career-high game, Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper was limited to four catches for 32 yards Sunday against the Colts.
”We knew they like to run that two-high shell,” he said. “It’s hard to kind of get those big plays when teams run those types of coverages. Really no excuses. We knew what they were all about. We just didn’t go out and execute.”
Cooper said the offense in general did a poor job of responding to mistakes, such as dropped balls and a blocked field goal attempt.
That blocked field goal seemed to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Momentum shifted early for the Cowboys on Sunday when the Colts blocked kicker Brett Maher’s 48-yard field goal attempt five minutes into the game.
Colts defensive lineman Denico Autry blocked the low kick. The ball was recovered by Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
“Anytime that stuff like that happens you’ve got to bow up,” Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones said of the blocked field goal. “You’ve got to accept those challenges and kind of thrive in those moments when you’re on the road and the kick is blocked and they get good field position. They scored on that drive and that’s not a good start for us, but even with that, it’s 7-0 and we’ve got to find a way to come back.”
We can talk about the offense, but man, how many tackles did the defense miss?
Cowboys defensive coaches emphasized three “musts” in team meetings and practices this week leading up to Sunday’s game against the Colts.
”Stop the run. Affect the quarterback. Be who we are.”
The Cowboys left Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday afternoon with a failing grade for all three.
When the Cowboys’ offense has struggled this season their defense has saved their backsides more often than not. But that didn’t happen this time around.
This offensive line and injuries...
The interior of the Cowboys offensive line continues to be popped by injuries.
To start the season, Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick was lost for the year with Guillain-Barre syndrome. He was replaced by Joe Looney.
Rookie second round pick Connor Williams, who has struggled at times this season, suffered a knee injury in early November. He was replaced by Su’a-Filo, and Williams basically lost his starting job.
When Martin went down last week, Williams returned to the lineup.
After Su’a-Filo went out in the second quarter on Sunday, he was replaced by Adam Redmond.
Rapoport believes Su’a-Filo will be OK.