The Dallas Cowboys have come crashing down after a fun and exciting 3-0 start to the season. In those early games, we saw the offense be innovative and put points up on the scoreboard and the defense fly around and make plays. Sure, the first three opponents were mediocre, to say the least, but the team did what it should and looked like it belonged to be in the conversation as the best teams in the league.
Then, the next three weeks happened: a road loss to Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints with a lackluster offensive performance, a home loss to the Packers in a mistake-filled game in which Aaron Jones rushed for four touchdowns, and, finally, a two-point road loss to the prior winless New York Jets in Sam Darnold’s first game action since the first half of week one.
Needless to say, the vibe around America’s Team has changed quite a bit — at least from a general standpoint. Super Bowl was in the minds of some as the Cowboys cruised into New Orleans, but now some are questioning if the playoffs are in this team’s future.
The players on the team, though, remain confident that this will be a strong season. The Cowboys traded for Robert Quinn this offseason, and the former first-round draft pick has been a bright spot when rushing the passer for Dallas. Quinn stated that “we have to just look ourselves in the mirror” and added that “we have everything. We just got to put it together”.
Robert Quinn: “We just have to look ourselves in the mirror and get this thing fixed. Because we have the talent, we have the scheme, we have the coaches, we have everything. We just got to put it together.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 15, 2019
Quinn continued speaking on the loss and what the outlook is for this team, saying that the team just needs to get a win in any way it can.
Robert Quinn: “At the end of the day, we just need to get a W. By one point or by 100 points, we just need to get a W as a team, and get back on the right side of things like how we started the year off. We’ve just had some bad luck. We’ll be alright.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 15, 2019
Dak Prescott’s mindset hasn’t changed, despite the team struggling to find themselves on the winning side of things. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback said that “we’re not gonna lose confidence”.
Dak: "We know the players we have and the men we have on this team. We're not gonna lose confidence. We're definitely gonna gain a sense of focus and a sense of accountability to lock-in, to lean on one another. And this brotherhood has to grow right now more than it ever has."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 14, 2019
Prescott was without his starting offensive tackles — in addition to Randall Cobb not being active and Amari Cooper leaving the game after his first and only catch of the game — but he knows that he has to continue to fight.
Dak Prescott's mindset when he's taking hit after hit like today: "Get back up. I've played this game a long time. You have games like that. I'm going to keep fighting, keep getting up & keep trusting those guys are going to get it done the next play. Just don't worry about it."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 14, 2019
Back to the defensive side of the ball, Kris Richard has received both praise (especially last season) and criticism (especially this season) since coming to Dallas. Richard said that adversity does not build character, but it reveals character instead.
Kris Richard: “Adversity does not build character, it reveals character. So we’ll see exactly who we are. We’ll go right back to the drawing board. Nobody is going anywhere. We got a bunch of battlers in the room, so we’ll be back and battle. No doubt about it”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 14, 2019
The offensive gameplan had some scratching their heads and wondering what was going on. For what is worth, Tony Romo stated during the game that he sees a lot of Garrett’s fingerprints on the offense.
"I see a lot of Jason Garrett's footprints in this offense."— Shan Shariff (@1053SS) October 13, 2019
The former Cowboys quarterback did not appear to be a fan of the situational play-calling of the Cowboys, which puts Garrett under a lot of scrutiny.
Tony Romo says he sees a lot of Jason Garrett in the Cowboys' offense. He said it reminds him of 2007-09. He again points out what he considers poor situational play-calling.— Damon R. Marx (@DamonMarxDMN) October 13, 2019
Furthermore, Romo was not the only quarterback to notice some similarities between previous Cowboys games and the one that was played on Sunday. Sam Darnold, a second-year quarterback that missed weeks because of mono, threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns versus Dallas. When asked about what he saw from the Cowboys defense, he replied “they do it every single week”. Ouch.
“They just kind of did what they do,” Darnold said of the Cowboys defense. “They do it every single week. They just play one-high (safety), occasionally two-high, and they like to stop the run. I knew that I had to throw the ball today to have success, and we did that.”
Jerry Jones is typically upbeat and optimistic about his Cowboys, but it was obvious just how disappointed he was on Sunday following the loss. Jones did not want to speculate about Garrett’s job security, but he did make it clear that he was upset “by how we just stunk it up”.
“Gosh, I’m not even coming close to those future-type considerations,” a disappointed Jones responded when asked about Garrett’s future after Dallas’ 24-22 loss. “I’m overcome by how we just stunk it up early here tonight as a football team. And that far overshadows any specific things on a long-term basis. You could not have a future around here and done better than what we did out there tonight. We just got to play better.
Jason Garrett knows his team isn’t but playing well enough to win, but he hopes his team still has confidence.
“I sure hope so,” he responded. “You just have to go back to work, and that’s what we have to do. We have to address the issues from the game, starting tomorrow when we watch the tape. And then we have to move forward and practice well and prepare for the next challenge.”
What’s more, Eagles coach Doug Pederson — who is also coming off a loss and is sitting at 3-3 — has confidence that the Eagles will come into Dallas and leave with a victory:
"We're going to win that football game" -- @Eagles HC Doug Pederson, guaranteeing Philly will beat the @dallascowboys on Sunday pic.twitter.com/on61BWzCHI— RADIO.COM Sports (@RDCSports) October 14, 2019
Michael Gallup heard those comments, but said that you shouldn’t need a coach or anybody else to fire you up. Still, it is hard to believe that those comments didn’t catch the attention of the Cowboys.
“If you need a coach, or anybody else, to fire you up, I don’t think you really should be playing,” Gallup said. “That’s what Dak says, really every week. We shouldn’t [need] anybody else to motivate us to be fired up. You should already have that. For me, I’m not looking for anybody to fire me up.”
The Cowboys are in a pretty much must-win situation this Sunday with Philly coming into town. Sure, there is still of plenty of football left, but dropping four consecutive games is far less than ideal for the outlook of a team wanting to compete for a championship.
DeMarcus Lawrence is well aware of the kind of situation his team is in. So, he said “it’s time to show what we’re made of”.
“Our backs are against the wall. It’s time to show what we’re made of.
“We the truth. We just got to start playing like it. Last week we beat ourselves, the week before we beat ourselves, this week we beat ourselves. It’s time to buckle down and go to work.”