The Cowboys have truly fallen.
The NFL on Monday morning announced results of 2021 Pro Bowl Fan Voting and the Cowboys have been shut out. In fact, none of the Cowboys were named Pro Bowlers.
With Dak Prescott out since Week 5 with an ankle injury, Ezekiel Elliott having a down year statistically, and the Cowboys defense ranked much of the season dead-least in the NFL in scoring and stopping the run, it’s no surprise that the Cowboys would not inspire as many votes as previous seasons. But in the past, no matter the win-loss record, there were constants such as Pro Bowl votes for the likes of offensive linemen Zack Martin and Tyron Smith. But the injury bug has bitten the offensive line this year. With Martin (calf) placed on Injured Reserve December 7th and Smith (neck) sidelined after playing only two games, even the streaks for these perennial Pro Bowlers have come to a halt in 2020.
Not only are the Cowboys not represented among top vote-getters from the fans, but the Cowboys as a team did not accumulate enough votes to rank among the top 5.
Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks lead Pro Bowl selections - Adam Teicher, ESPN
It hasn’t happened since the 80s.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Dallas Cowboys were among five teams without a Pro Bowl player, the others being the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
This is only the third time in their history that the Cowboys don’t have at least one Pro Bowl representative. The other times were 1986 and 1989. From 2010 through 2019, the Cowboys had 24 Pro Bowl selections, behind only that of the Chiefs and Ravens.
Report: MRI of Leighton Vander Esch’s ankle shows ligament issue - Charean Williams, ProFootballTalk
The hits just keep on coming for the Cowboys.
An MRI showed a ligament issue in Vander Esch’s ankle, Todd Archer of ESPN reports.
The Cowboys are not ruling out Vander Esch for Sunday’s game against the Eagles, Archer adds.
Vander Esch played 32 snaps on defense and three on special teams against the 49ers and made three tackles.
They play a similar game and that’s high praise after only three games.
Jerry Jones has seen this story play out and during his weekly sitdown with 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys owner compared Hurts’ ascention as a rookie and his leadership qualities to that of the current Dallas star signal-caller, Dak Prescott per Mark Lane.
Prescott became the Cowboys’ starting quarterback after starter Tony Romo was injured in the 2016 preseason, and went on to lead Dallas to the top seed in the NFC.
Prescott set several rookie quarterback records and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, while also earning a Pro Bowl selection after starting all 16 games with 3,667 passing yards, 282 rushing yards, 29 total touchdowns, and only four interceptions.
On Sunday in his second start as a pro, Hurts went 24-for-44 for 338 yards and rushed for 63 yards in a loss against the Arizona Cardinals and the rookie went toe to toe with Kyler Murray all afternoon.
The Cowboys may have found another young player to add this this defensive front.
On Sunday, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore was one of those pleasant surprises. The third round rookie defensive tackle has had an up-and-down season, but showed off way more promise against the 49ers this week. Gallimore finished the win with 5 total tackles, 1 for loss, 1 pass deflection, and a quarterback hit.
His biggest flash play came in the first quarter, with the Cowboys backed up on first and goal. The 49ers tried to get their center to the second level, having their right guard pass off Gallimore to the tackle. Gallimore was too fast off the ball though, getting in the guard’s hip pocket and making it a near impossible block for the right tackle.
Gallimore split the guard and tackle, and came up with a huge tackle for loss.
Later in the game Gallimore came up with another defense-saving play. This time against the pass.
The Cowboys need to figure out a coexistence between Zeke and Pollard.
Elliott could be served on the trade block, something that was unthinkable in 2019 when he was demanding a new contract. It was a smack to the face for the Cowboys, who ended up caving in. But with Elliott’s numbers in decline, perhaps this is an opportunity for Jerry Jones to have the last word.
In 2020, Elliott has only eclipsed the century mark once. In 13 games so far, he has 832 rushing yards on 211 rushes. He is averaging 3.9 yards a pop. Elliott has five rushing scores. He has coughed up the ball six times, with four of those registered as fumbles lost.
In terms of 2020 rankings, Elliott’s 832 rushing yards ranks him 11th in the league. If you think the Cowboys weren’t feeding him enough, you might be surprised. His 211 rushing attempts rank him fifth in the NFL. His average of 3.9 yards per attempt places him 40th in the NFL.
Did Tony Pollard‘s performance on Sunday in a win over the San Francisco 49ers usher in a new era at the running back spot? Maybe. Maybe not.
It did show that this offense can run just fine on different rocket fuel, even without a star-studded front line at the helm. Maybe there is something to Pollard after all.
Pollard rushed the ball 12 times for 69 yards. He earned two rushing scores. More importantly, he averaged nearly six yards a pop, but most of that came off a nice run towards the end of the game where he broke three tacklers. In addition, Pollard caught six passes for 63 yards.
Why injury excuses will top accountability once again for Dallas Cowboys - One.Cool.Customer, Blogging The Boys
A call for sanity in Dallas.
Mike Nolan is this season’s Jason Garrett: A convenient fall guy who will cover up the entire Cowboys mess.
Nolan will be gone after the season, but who suggested the Cowboys hire him? Who approved the hire? Who was tasked with putting together a roster for the new defensive scheme? Who picked the free agents the Cowboys eventually signed (and released)?
Cowboys fans have been conditioned from day one to blame everything that’s wrong with the Cowboys on Jerry Jones. And that is correct in the sense that the buck has got to stop somewhere. The guy at the top of the organization chart is the guy ultimately responsible of course, and Jerry Jones maybe more so than any other owner. But that narrow focus on Jones the Elder, while convenient, tends to oversimplify things and tends to absolve his lieutenants of responsibility.
The Cowboys defense is a fickle beast.
Yep, that same defense, in its best Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonation, made all this possible.
Cowboys 41, 49ers 33.
The Cowboys winning consecutive games for the first time since Games 7 and 8 of last season with a bye week in between, and in consecutive weeks for the first time since the opening three games of the 2019 season.
The Cowboys now 5-9.
The Cowboys now just one game in back of Washington in the NFC East with two games to play, and still the Cowboys needing to win out and Washington needing to lose out after its 20-15 loss to Seattle on Sunday for the Cowboys to have a chance to win the division title.
And with Philadelphia losing (4-9-1) and the Giants losing (5-9), the two teams the Cowboys have left to play this up the down staircase season of 2020, this leaves the Cowboys tied for second with a game up on the Giants, having beaten them already, and a half-game up on the Eagles, who beat the Cowboys the first time around.
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