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Cowboys are one of three teams to not score a touchdown in second or third quarters this season

That’s not good.

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Last season we spent a lot of time talking about adjustments. Those were some fun times.

Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys showed an inability to make adjustments after halftime, and things typically fell apart for them in the third quarter and beyond during losses. This is a critical quarter as it propels you into the final one, but you can make an argument for why each quarter is paramount.

Historically, the second quarter has been where Jason Garrett’s Cowboys have done the most damage offensively. Among the four quarters, the Cowboys have typically scored the most points in the second quarter since 2011, especially since becoming the run-heavy team they are in 2014.

Cowboys second-quarter scoring relative to all four quarters since 2011

  • 2011: 2nd
  • 2012: 2nd
  • 2013: t-1st (with the 4th)
  • 2014: 1st
  • 2015: 2nd
  • 2016: 1st
  • 2017: 1st

As noted, the Cowboys are typically not that great in the third quarter. Those halftime adjustments are a thorn in their side and they typically score less in that period.

Cowboys third-quarter scoring relative to all four quarters since 2011

  • 2011: 4th
  • 2012: 3rd
  • 2013: 3rd
  • 2014: 3rd
  • 2015: 4th
  • 2016: 4th
  • 2017: 4th

It ultimately doesn’t matter when you score as long as at the end of the day you’ve scored more than the other team. You can make arguments for why this quarter or that quarter is the most important one as we discussed, but the point stands that Jason Garrett’s Cowboys typically aren’t lighting up the scoreboard as often in the third quarter.

The Cowboys have continued their lack of scoring in the third quarter this season, and have now added the second quarter

We’re in Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season which means that each team has played three games so far. That’s some easy math.

Of all 32 teams in the National Football League, there are three that have yet to score a touchdown in the second or third quarters that they have played:

The Cowboys have only scored four touchdowns this season. They reeled in one against the Panthers, two versus the Giants, and one in Seattle. The 64-yard Tavon Austin score against the Giants came in the first quarter, otherwise the other three have all come in the final period.

You could go as far as making the argument that two of the Cowboys touchdowns this season (the ones in Carolina and Seattle) came when the team they were playing was backing off and playing more of a prevent defense. That’s a topic for a different day, but it is worth noting.

Arizona has only scored three touchdowns this season, and they obviously feel their offense is at an unacceptable place because they’re making a switch at the quarterback position by starting rookie Josh Rosen... coincidentally against the same Seahawks that Dallas just played.

Tennessee has alternated quarterbacks this season due to injuries sustained by starter Marcus Mariota and backup Blaine Gabbert, but both they and the Cardinals are dealing with rookie head coaches on top of everything else. Steve Wilks and Mike Vrabel are in positions where it’s understandable to be working through kinks as it’s their first go at this whole head coaching in the NFL thing, Jason Garrett is in his eight full season and finds himself lumped in the same group.

There are many statistics and data points to prove how the Cowboys are struggling at egregious levels this season. They’re going to either have to put that to an end, or make a change. The crossroads of decisions are upon us.

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