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Cowboys news: Defense shows up but the offense still struggles

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys’ Defense Finally Shows Up, but a Little Too Late - John Williams, Inside The Star

A sign of hope for the future for the Cowboys defense.

Finally, the Cowboys defense got an effort they could be proud of, but here we are in week eight and now they sit 2-6 and a game and a half out of the NFC East race with the Eagles. It would have been nice to get one of these defensive performances when the Cowboys had a semblance of an offense instead of relying on trick plays and a seventh-round rookie at quarterback.

DeMarcus Lawrence stood out all game, finishing with six tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, and two quarterback hits. Trevon Diggs played arguably his best game in his short career, coming up with both interceptions and also had four total passes defended. He did allow a touchdown and another big play in the passing game, but overall it was an improvement.

Donovan Wilson also played a noteworthy game, coming up with a sack and forcing a fumble on Carson Wentz in the first half.

Cowboys’ offense making wrong kind of history for Mike McCarthy - Todd Archer, ESPN

Hopefully the return of Andy Dalton can give the offense a spark.

Ben DiNucci earned some high praise from running back Ezekiel Elliott: “He was fearless. Didn’t blink.” But DiNucci threw for 180 yards on 21-of-40 passing. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass and he wasn’t intercepted, but he was sacked four times and lost two fumbles. On passes thrown more than 5 yards down the field, he completed 6 of 20 attempts for 68 yards. On attempts more than 10 yards downfield, he was 0-of-9.

The result was a Cowboys offense that failed to score a touchdown for the second straight game, something that has happened four times in franchise history.

For McCarthy, his team now 2-6, this is the first time he has had a team go consecutive games without a touchdown in his head-coaching career.

Stephen Jones hints at low-drama trade deadline for Cowboys - Dean Straka, 24/7 Sports

Another defensive tackle would help, maybe a safety too.

Injuries have decimated the Cowboys during 2020, including a season-ending injury to star quarterback Dak Prescott before his backup, first-year Cowboy Andy Dalton, went down with a concussion at Washington that ultimately forced him to miss Sunday’s game at Philadelphia. But it’s not just the offense where the issues have been apparent — a suspect defense has allowed a league-worst 33.3 points per game on average through eight contests.

Last Tuesday morning, team owner Jerry Jones joined 105.3 The Fan for his weekly radio hit. It was during that hit that Jones hinted at the fact that the Cowboys could be making some changes to improve the team, specifically on defense.

“The facts are that fundamentally, we’re not stopping the run and when you don’t do that, then a lot of other things come in behind that as to what you are lacking. But we got to correct this,” Jones said. “We got to correct it. We’ll change some personnel for sure. We just got to step in here and make adjustments. That’s what you do.”

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy Won’t Take Over Play-Calling Duties amid 2-6 Start - Jenna Ciccotelli, The Bleacher Report

I liked the creativity from Kellen Moore this week and I don’t think it’s time for a change.

With his team in the midst of a 2-6 start, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is not considering at least one personnel change on the offensive side of the ball.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, McCarthy will not take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

“Absolutely not,” he said Monday. “That’s a non-topic.”

Dallas Cowboys Historically Bad For Bettors In 2020, Winless Against The Spread - Anthony Riccobono, International Business Times

At this point it’s not even worth the effort to make a bet involving the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys have been the biggest disappointment of the 2020 NFL season in more ways than one. Not only is the team flirting with last place in the NFC standings, but they have been the worst bet in football through Week 8.

Dallas has a 0-8 record against the spread, marking a historic run of futility. The Cowboys join the 2003 Oakland Raiders and the 1991 Cincinnati Bengals as the only teams in NFL history to go winless against the spread in their first eight games.

If Dallas fails to cover the spread in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cowboys will become the first team to start any season with a 0-9 betting record, The Action Network reports.

Dallas Cowboys 2021 mock draft: Defense, defense, more defense - Sayre Bedinger, NFL Mocks

It’s about that time, when we start looking towards next years draft.

3. Third round: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse

To complete the trio of defensive picks, the Dallas Cowboys get themselves a ball-hawking safety out of Syracuse in Andre Cisco.

Cisco’s skill set is precisely what the Cowboys need on the back end of their secondary.

In 24 college games, Cisco has 13 interceptions, 14 pass breakups, and a pair of forced fumbles. To say he knows how to get his hands on the ball would be a massive understatement.

More importantly than just getting his hands on the ball, Cisco makes proper reads in the passing game, keeping his eyes on the quarterback and flowing to the football with speed and quickness.

Second half of the Cowboys’ season is more about survival than turning things around - David Moore, DMN

Tank or play? They might be the same thing for this team

Standards aren’t compromised in the wake of this 2-6 start. Expectations are. The players will talk about turning things around, as they did after a tedious 23-9 loss to Philadelphia.

But let’s be honest. These final eight games are about survival more than they are a stirring reversal of fortunes.

There will be suggestions that it’s in the Cowboys best interest to lose because every defeat inches them closer to a high pick and better overall draft class. Fans will lobby for Dallas to tank.

Tank? Have you watched this team?

Dallas has been outscored 86-22 in the three games since quarterback Dak Prescott was lost for the season. They don’t need any more encouragement to lose.

At this stage, it’s legitimate to wonder if the Cowboys can win two more games to equal their first half output.

“I clearly understand what this loss does to us,’’ McCarthy said of the competitive and motivational bind his team finds itself in entering the second half.

No team has lost six of its first eight games and made the playoffs. The sample size is a rather robust 112 since the current format went into effect 30 years ago.

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