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Cowboys news: The Cowboys competitive viability is at stake over the next two weeks

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Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Over the next two weeks, Mike McCarthy’s credibility, Cowboys' competitive viability are at stake - David Moore, Dallas Morning News

If the Cowboys don’t get their act together in the next two weeks, their new head coach may be in big trouble.

Anonymous quotes will continue to seep out of the locker room by players questioning the coaching staff’s competence to diffuse criticism of their own culpability. "When you hit a part of your season or any challenge where there is negativity out there, and where it comes from and who it comes from, that’s something I’ve never chased,'' McCarthy said Tuesday evening in response to a specific question about a report by NFL Network. "But I think you do have to recognize it.

"I just really go back to my first meeting with the football team. I’ve always stated this to every team I’ve coached. I think it’s important to handle things as men. I mean, if you do have something to say publicly, I think it’s important to say to the individual, particularly in a group dynamic setting, especially in the game of football, especially the Dallas Cowboys. "That’s all part of the development of our program, of the system we’re installing here.''

Make no mistake. All parties, players and coaches, are responsible for this current mess. The security blanket that is the division, the idea that Dallas is fortunate to be the best of a bad lot, will disappear if the team doesn’t right itself in these next two games.

A discourse in defeat: How historically bad is the NFC East this season? - Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News

The NFC East is well on its way to being one of the weakest divisions in football history.

Are you ready for the good news? (I suppose if you’re a Cowboys fan, you’re ready for the good news). The Arizona Cardinals came within seconds of winning Super Bowl XLIII after going 9-7 to win the worst division of this era in 2008.

Now that doesn’t mean the winner of the East is bound for Tampa in February. And, specifically in the Cowboys' case, Kurt Warner isn’t walking through that door at the Star in the next two months. Still, the winner of every division gets a home game to start the playoffs and the same will be true this year no matter how bad the record. In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West at 7-9 and upset the Saints in the first round of the postseason.

ESPN’s Power Index projects Philadelphia to win the division at 6-9-1 which, again, would make history. Who knows how it will shake out, but never let it be said that ties are useless. Doug Pederson’s conservative approach at the end of the Cincinnati game got the Eagles a tie. When the East is 2-13-1 playing opponents outside the division, a tie doesn’t look so bad. For its part, Dallas is 1-4 outside the division. Yes, it took somewhat of a miracle onside kick and a characteristic Falcons collapse for the Cowboys to secure that win. Beyond that, the Eagles' strange win over a depleted San Francisco team represents the only victory that wasn’t head-to-head in the East.

How bad is the NFC East? FPI says it could produce a four-win playoff team - Staff, ESPN.com

Is the NFC East so bad, a five- or six-win team could win the division?

The situation: Can the Cowboys even get to seven wins? Is there a game the rest of the season where you absolutely know the Cowboys win? There isn't. And whatever positives you're thinking about the Cowboys' chances, the other team is feeling that same way about playing them. Injuries, turnovers, poor defensive execution.

It has added up to an immensely disappointing start to the 2020 season, and the remaining schedule does not show much promise at the moment. Predicted finish: 7-9 -- Archer

2020 Season a Complete Organizational Failure for the Dallas Cowboys - John Williams, Inside The Star

The 2-4 start has shown the entire organization plays some role in the struggles of this team.

It’s gotten to the point where there are no answers coming this season. Even as they sit in first place, there’s zero hope that this thing is going to get better. Actually, it may get worse and much worse before it gets better. Looking at the rest of the schedule, it’s hard to envision it getting any better. This has been an abject failure from the top of the organization (Jerry Jones) to bottom (the players).

The front office owns part of this failure by not fully investing in working to fix a defense that wasn’t good in 2019, but has become historically bad in 2020. The issues that were revealed by the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams during the 2018 season are still issues. And while the players certainly carry some of the water, the inability and unwillingness of the front office to make a serious investment on the interior of the defensive line or at safety continues to show up, every single week.

5 Moves the Dallas Cowboys Need to Make to Fix This Mess - Chris Roling, Bleacher Report

Anyone down for an upgrade to the offensive line?

Make a Splash with an Addition to the Offensive Line.....If the Cowboys are still serious about contending this year, the front office can't sit still and continue with this offensive line.

Monday night, Dallas had to play two undrafted players at offensive tackle in Brandon Knight—who will miss time after knee surgery—and Terence Steele. Tyler Biadasz, a rookie, managed center. Guards Connor McGovern and Connor Williams looked lost after Zack Martin left the game and didn't return. Protecting Prescott was important, but downgrading to Dalton means it's even more so if the Cowboys want to remain competitive. Whether that means hopping into free agency for a guy like Josh Kline or even talking to another team about a trade is hard to say, though both options are worth a look.

In the past, Dallas' league-best line helped control games and mask other issues. With that mask off, the Cowboys don't have a choice but to put out feelers on talent upgrades for the short term.

Zeke Apologizes To Team; Promises To Fix Issues - Jonny Auping, Dallascowboys.com

You can question a lot of things about the Cowboys’ running back, but you can’t question his accountability.

"I just wanted to let them know how terrible I felt," Elliott said of his locker room message after the loss. "I'm supposed to be a guy this team can rely on and lean on when things get rough."

Things certainly got rough in their 38-10 loss to Arizona, and while there was more than enough blame to go around, Elliott's two first half fumbles didn't do the Cowboys any favors. Even more alarmingly is the fact that, amid the Cowboys' early season struggles, the running back now has five fumbles in six games. No one doubts that Elliott is a dangerous running back, but the argument can be made that in 2020 he's been a greater liability to his own team.

Fumbles are a quirky stat. Sometimes it's a mere matter of bad luck. Sometimes it's careless ball security. And once something happens enough times, just like with anything in sports, it can become a mental issue. Elliott told the media on Wednesday that he's addressing the issue this week by going into the film room and watching footage of every fumble in his career, perhaps looking for issues that he was getting away with earlier in his career which are now catching up to him.

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