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Cowboys news: The blame is spread everywhere when discussing the Cowboys offense

Players, coaches, schemes, nothing is left unscathed.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

There’s plenty of blame to go around for the Cowboys’ offensive struggles – Calvin Watkins, The Athletic
A look a the Cowboys putrid offense spreads the blame around. Dak Prescott is a key target.

Prescott’s numbers are horrific. He’s got a 74.9 quarterback rating (27th in the NFL) and 498 passing yards (28th). Prescott has yet to throw for 200 yards this season, something that should be easy to do given how the rules favor the offenses, particularly in the passing game.

Josh Allen, the Bills’ rookie quarterback who was considered very raw coming into the draft, has thrown for more yards (515) than Prescott and he didn’t start Week 1. Baker Mayfield threw for 201 yards in one half of football last week for the Browns.

Garrett has confidence in Prescott, but he really has no choice because Cooper Rush isn’t the answer and Romo is retired. Old buddy Troy Aikman is long gone. The last time the Cowboys finished 31st in points scored was 2015 and Matt Cassel was the main quarterback with Romo hurt. You have to flip the history books back to 2002 to find this bad an offense, and that group featured Chad Hutchinson and Quincy Carter sharing the starting quarterback duties for Dave Campo. The Cowboys finished 31st in scoring that year.

The Morning After: Cowboys offense simply cannot do its job in Seattle – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Taking the Cowboys' front office to task for not coming up with better answers to the same offensive issues that plagued this team in the second half of 2017.

The first half of 2017, this was the fifth-highest-scoring offense in the league at 28.3 points per game. The 370 yards of total offense ranked eighth, the passing yards were right at 222 yards (nearly league average, 17th), and the touchdowns were second-highest in the NFL. After the debacle against Atlanta, everything fell through the floor. Scoring dropped to 16 PPG (28th), the total offense was 26th, the passing offense was 30th and Dallas fell to 24th in touchdowns.

The Cowboys went away for nine months to fix things and to design something that could fix the issues. Zeke and Tyron would be back (of course, Travis Frederick would then exit). Where are they through 3 weeks?

31st in points, 30th in yards, 31st in passing yards, and of course, 30th in touchdowns.

You’re reading that right. They might actually be worse than they were before they made their offseason changes.

Passing Game “Not Good Enough,” & Not One Issue - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
Jason Garrett’s thoughts on what went wrong Sunday against the Seahawks.

When head coach Jason Garrett reviewed the film from Sunday’s 24-13 loss to Seattle, he didn’t see just one problem area in the Cowboys’ passing game.

“A lot of components” are causing issues in that facet of their offense, he said – and in turn, their overall inconsistency sustaining drives and scoring points.

“Certainly the position that we’re trying to put our players in, that’s where we start as a coaching staff,” Garrett said. “There’s a protection component. There’s a decision-making component. There’s a throw-and-catch component. There’s a winning-on-the-route component. We have to improve in all of those areas.”

Raiders, Texans headline NFL teams with early reason to panic - Adam Schein, NFL.com
We get a firm grasp of the obvious, including the Cowboys on a list of teams with reason to panic.

The Cowboys are 1-2 and panic is sky high. Yes, Sunday's setback came in Seattle, but these aren't your older brother's Seahawks: Seattle's O-line is dreadful; new play caller Brian Schottenheimer has spent much of his debut season under fire; the running back position is inexperienced; Doug Baldwin is hurt; the defense is a shell of the group that had a sensational six-year run. And Seattle smoked Dallas. Don't let the final score of 24-13 fool you -- it wasn't even that close.

Refocused, NFL Week 3: Seattle Seahawks 24, Dallas Cowboys 13 - PFF Analysis Team, Pro Football Focus
Unlike most of us, the PFF crew managed to find some positives among the rubble from Sunday's loss.

The Dallas defense hasn’t shone brightly this year, but one player continues to stand out. Corner, come safety, come corner again, Byron Jones has another memorable game and comfortably won his battle with Brandon Marshall with some close coverage and good ball skills to prevent completions. There aren’t many cornerbacks playing better than Jones right now.

This year’s first-round pick is starting to make an impression. Leighton Vander Esch was all over the field, making a number of tackles for defensive stops on early downs. He might not be an every-down player yet, but the early signs are encouraging.

Time to overreact to NFL 2018 Week 3 - Dan Graziano, ESPN.com
Do the Cowboys need to look for a quarterback in next year's NFL draft?

Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. While Prescott's brilliant 2016 rookie season may turn out to be the best of his career, it's too early to give up on him. He may not be the kind of quarterback who can make chicken salad out of a receiver group like this, but he has shown he can play at a high level if they put a good team around him. That should be the Cowboys' focus going forward -- adding receiver help, not quarterback help.

Ezekiel Elliott -- My 'poor perfomance' cost Dallas Cowboys game - ESPN.com
Ezekiel Elliott's thoughts on his disappointing performance in week three.

Elliott had four runs of at least 19 yards, but on his season-high 26-yarder in the fourth quarter, he fumbled for the first time this season. Safety Bradley McDougald tracked Elliott from behind and chopped the ball free for Justin Coleman to recover with 10:46 remaining and Seattle up 24-6.

"You can say whatever, but at the end of the day, when you've got the ball in your hands, that's the team in your hands," Elliott said. "Me being a leader on the team, me being a better player on this team, I got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. That cost us the game."

How soon is too soon to fire Jason Garrett after another wildly mediocre day by the Cowboys' passing attack? - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
The knives are being sharpened and unless Jason Garrett turns things around - quickly and dramatically - the calls for his head will only increase. Tim Cowlishaw is first in what is sure to be a long line calling for an end to the Garrett era.

The Cowboys have never played a game at AT&T Stadium -- now in its 10th season --without Jason Garrett on the sideline either as head coach or offensive coordinator. Isn't it time for that to change? And, if so, how soon?

After an uninspired 24-13 loss in Seattle, the Cowboys are 1-2 for the first time since 2010. That, not coincidentally, was the season in which Garrett replaced Wade Phillips after the team slid to 1-7.

Phillips lost the team that year. Garrett has simply lost his mind.

Or perhaps Scott Linehan is the culprit, and I know a lot of folks want to focus their attention on him for the play-calling which has been somewhere between puzzling and criminal this season. He is, after all, the play caller.

But this was Garrett's offense for years both as coordinator and top dog, and while we can question how much authority owner Jerry Jones strips him of when it comes to decision making (I would say it's far less that most think), he certainly has the power to change plays or the offense's direction.

For A Passing League, The NFL Still Doesn’t Pass Enough - Josh Hersmeyer, FiveThirtyEight
Using the 538 slide-rule, you can conclude NFL teams are running when they should be passing.

The biggest culprit is first down, the most traditional run situation. It’s here where NFL coaches are consistently missing an opportunity to pass, particularly against defenses that have stacked the box or are playing at least seven defenders close to the line of scrimmage. I’m calling these situations FANS — First (down) Against Neutral or Stacked (boxes). FANS includes plays in which the defense brings extra men close to the line of scrimmage, clogging running lanes and daring the offense to run the ball. I analyzed plays from the 2017 season using men-in-the-box data from analytics firm Sports Info Solutions and play-level data courtesy of Ron Yurko, a Ph.D. student in statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. To more accurately represent regular game play and eliminate noise, I limited the sample to snaps outside the red zone when the opposing teams were within 7 points of each other.

With seven to nine men near the line of scrimmage and the subsequent dearth of extra defenders in the secondary, we’d expect passing to be effective in these situations. That’s just what we found. Last season, 30 of 32 teams were more successful passing than running on FANS as measured by success rate.2 And passing wasn’t just a little more successful than running. The difference in passing success was large: 27 teams had a success rate that was at least 10 percentage points higher when passing on FANS than running; 14 teams were more than 20 points better. The league average difference of 19.3 leaned wildly toward passing.

Not surprisingly, our Cowboys are among the most stubborn in their dedication to rushing the ball against stacked fronts.

As we should every week, let’s check in with @ScooterMagruder for his reactions to the team’s most recent fortunes.

Also, check out the latest episode of The 75O.

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