Dallas didn’t get lit up in the same way on the scoreboard, but they did get beat up in almost ever facet of the game. The Cowboys were outplayed in almost every way by the Seahawks, and it was ugly.
They lost the game, but there was more losing than that (and winning!). Here are our five winners, five losers, and everything else in between.
Winner: The shot that Earl Thomas called
It was on December 24th, 2017 when Earl Thomas chased down Jason Garrett and pleaded with him to “go get him” from Seattle. Jason Garrett and the Cowboys tried, but they were unsuccessful. It hurt them that they couldn’t pull it off.
Thomas had not one, but two interceptions off of Dak Prescott, granted they both came off of tipped balls. To make matters worse he poured salt in the wound when he took a bow towards the Cowboys sideline after the second one.
Amazing that this actually happened. pic.twitter.com/yP3shqzO50— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) September 24, 2018
Winner: Those that don’t believe in Dak Prescott
For a long time I thought that the internet had never seen anything like the Dak Prescott and Tony Romo debate of 2016, but then the 2018 season happened.
He hasn’t exactly had help around him (or from his coaches), but Dak Prescott has been quite bad so far on this young season. Take a look at his day on Sunday.
Here is Dak Prescott's passing chart from Week 3. No attempts or completions beyond 15 yards. pic.twitter.com/38pEdHrHbc— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 24, 2018
Not a single attempt beyond 15 yards. That’s quite telling. This subject isn’t going away.
Winner: The rest of the NFC East
Week 2 was quite nice to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys within the NFC East because they were the only team from it to walk away with a victory. Those were the days.
Week 3 was not so kind to the rooters of America’s Team. The world saw the Philadelphia Eagles (Indianapolis Colts), Washington Redskins (Green Bay Packers), and New York Giants (Houston Texans) all walk away with wins on Sunday. The Cowboys lost. That’s not good.
It’s still very early in the season and a lot is going to change, but it’s never a good thing to be the only team in your division to lose. That’s how you fall further and further behind.
Winner: Brett Maher, which is something positive
We’re finally at a point where the dust from releasing Dan Bailey has settled (he lost this week, too), and part of the reason for that is Brett Maher. The 28-year-old rookie has been perfect since missing his first ever kick, and that’s kind of an awesome thing.
Dallas is resorting to a lot of field goals and look like they’re going to be for some time in the near future. At the very least they have a good kicker at their back, and things could definitely be worse in that regard.
Winner: The idea of using Tavon Austin, sort of
Guess what? The Dallas Cowboys ran a jet sweep with Tavon Austin!
The jet sweep is one of the more predictable plays for the Cowboys whether it’s Lucky Whitehead, Ryan Switzer, or Tavon Austin running it. Not only did they jet sweep Tavon though, the Cowboys used the ‘ol shovel pass with him coming in motion that’s become popular across the NFL.
It’s definitely great to see the Cowboys finally taking pages out of other coaches playbooks, but that shuffle pass has been going on for a few seasons now. The Cowboys are a little late to the party, but the play did result in a touchdown so there’s that.
Loser: Ezekiel Elliott’s utilization
The Dallas Cowboys run the ball on every first down, and that’s a problem. The Dallas Cowboys also aren’t running enough, and that’s a problem that’s also possible.
Not running enough can be problematic because the Dallas Cowboys employ Ezekiel Elliott. They are using him at an alarmingly low rate.
Ezekiel Elliott has 48 carries this season:— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 24, 2018
- Week 1, 15
- Week 2, 17
- Week 3, 16
48 is easily the lowest three-game total of his career. He had never gone back to back games with less than 20 before this season began.
In defense of the idea of not using Zeke (that’s not a good idea, mind you) the Cowboys tried to go to him a few times and he let them down. Elliott stepped out of bounds before catching what would have been a great touchdown, and he fumbled after a nice gain downfield, ending whatever hope that drive had.
This is not fun.
Loser: The idea of getting sacks all the time, even against bad offensive lines
Russell Wilson had been sacked six times in each game before he played the Cowboys. Dallas was coming off of a six sack performance themselves, so things looked like they were coming up Hot Boyz in Seattle.
Dallas only managed to corral Wilson twice. TWO TIMES. The Cowboys were unable to get to a quarterback that people were getting to at a historic rate, and they were unable to do so even with Kris Richard calling defensive plays.
Loser: The second and third quarters when it comes to things that matter
The season is now three games old, and do you know how many touchdowns the Cowboys have scored in the second and third quarters? The answer would be zero.
Dallas has actually scored a majority of their season’s touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but one came in Carolina that was near the end and the same is true in regards to the Austin one in Seattle. Dallas is having a very difficult time scoring, and they’re really only doing so when no one is trying their hardest to stop them.
Loser: Any chance of being road warriors this season
In past years where the Cowboys have had serious success we’ve seen them pull off impressive records on the road. The Cowboys have played two games away from AT&T Stadium this season, and they’ve left with a loss in both instances.
Dallas isn’t exactly known for being able to win at home so they’ve needed road wins in seasons past. They’re going to need to find some before this season is over.
Loser: The NFL rulebook... yet again
Tyrone Crawford was penalized early on in the game because of the NFL’s new idea that defensive players can’t sack quarterbacks. It was terrible.
Everything is stupid pic.twitter.com/JrCcfe5YR3— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) September 23, 2018
Jerry Jones wasn’t too thrilled about this (as the Green Bay Packers were not in their game), but this is the way the NFL wants their game to be called. It’s unfortunate, and Tyrone Crawford even had a health scare after what should have been a punt for the Seahawks. This won’t sit well with folks for long.
There were only five listed losers, but it felt like there were many more in Seattle. Dallas is 1-2 for the first time under Jason Garrett, but they do have winnable games coming up versus Detroit and in Houston.
It’s going to be a long week with the Cowboys with many more questions about their offense and coaching staff to deal with. The only way for them to rid themselves of those is for their offense to perform at a higher level. Will it happen? Or won’t it?