The Cowboys’ season opener in Carolina came and went, and Dallas left the field with a 16-8 loss. The main talking point around the game was how terrible the Cowboys’ offense was. Naturally, the losses of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten were expected to present an adjustment period for the passing game, and Travis Frederick’s absence leaves a big, bearded hole in the offensive line no matter how well Joe Looney may have played.
The Cowboys still have a lot of offensive weapons, though, the biggest being Ezekiel Elliott. He only carried the ball 15 times and got 69 yards off of it, with a touchdown on a well-executed speed option play. Dak Prescott, who spent most of the summer refining his footwork and mechanics as this offense was reshaped to become more “Dak-friendly,” struggled mightily. When he didn’t have defenders breathing down his neck (he was sacked six times) he was under-throwing receivers or not picking out the open receivers. He averaged 5.9 yards per pass attempt and failed to score aside from his scramble for a two-point conversion.
From a play-calling perspective, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan started things off with a very diverse selection of plays: screens, bootlegs, split zones, and much more. The problem was that most of it didn’t work, or that the plays were negated by penalties. Things started picking up later on when Linehan began calling more conservative and traditional types of plays, but also when he started to spread the Carolina defense out. Nevertheless, an offense with so much potential was limited to eight points and 232 total yards of offense.
So we ask the question:
Who have you lost confidence in after the Cowboys performance in Week 1?
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