The Cowboys came into their Tuesday night matchup against the Ravens with significantly more rest time, but it didn’t seem to play a role in the game. Dallas was run into the ground and struggled to get anything going offensively in a lopsided loss.
Gus Edwards ran for 101 yards on just seven carries and rookie J.K. Dobbins — who also missed time on the COVID-19 list — added 71 yards rushing with a TD to help Baltimore (7-5) break a three-game skid and stay alive in its quest to reach the postseason for a third straight year.
Dallas came in with the worst rush defense in the league, and it showed. The Ravens averaged 7.9 yards per carry and prevailed despite getting only 107 yards passing from Jackson.
The last-place Cowboys (3-9) have lost six of seven. Andy Dalton went 31 for 48 for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 77 yards. But Greg Zuerlein missed three field goal tries and Dallas yielded 20 straight points after taking an early 10-7 lead.
Dallas Cowboys plagued by missed field goals, no run defense in loss to Baltimore Ravens - Jori Epstein, USA Today
The Cowboys defense was by far the biggest talking point of the night after being steamrolled by the Ravens, but their offense quietly put up some respectable numbers. However, many of their offensive drives fizzled out, and Greg Zuerlein’s three missed field goals further compounded the struggles.
The Cowboys finagled their way to 388 total yards, including a 285-yard, 2-touchdown day from Andy Dalton. But an interception, turnover on downs and three missed field goals were too much to overcome for a team that stalled on far too many drives and needed a 66-yard kick return to initially get in the end zone.
Offensive line woes, including All-Pro right guard Zack Martin’s placement this week on injured reserve, contributed. But third-down and red-zone efficiency have plagued Dallas weekly since losing quarterback Dak Prescott to a season-ending ankle injury two months earlier. Adversity has struck often in McCarthy’s first Dallas season. The Cowboys remain unable to answer.
Ravens vs. Cowboys: Dez Bryant reveals he tested positive for COVID-19 minutes ahead of kickoff - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
One of the prevailing storylines coming into Tuesday night’s game was Dez Bryant’s first game against the Cowboys since being cut prior to the 2018 season, but with just minutes to go before kickoff the receiver learned that the revenge game would not come to pass.
The highly anticipated revenge game for Dez Bryant — a Week 13 battle with the Dallas Cowboys — won’t take place. While the game itself between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens will finally get underway after being postponed three times due to the COVID-19 outbreak within the latter’s organization, Bryant himself will be sidelined — pulled from the game just ahead of kickoff.
Bryant revealed on Twitter just half an hour before kickoff that he was called off the field during warmups at M&T Bank Stadium to be tested for COVID-19, and the test came back positive. The 32-year-old must now immediately enter quarantine and won’t get a chance to face his beloved Cowboys for the first time since being unexpected released following the 2017 season. His frustrations immediately spilled over, and he’s now threatening to end his season early.
“Yea I’m going to go ahead and call it a quit for the rest of the season,” he said. “I can’t deal with this.” The Ravens, however, hope Bryant’s comment is just a venting of momentary anger.
The Cowboys defense has been ridiculed a lot all year long, especially against the run. That narrative hit a fever pitch on Tuesday night, as the Ravens ran roughshod on the Dallas defense all night long.
Cowboys have allowed Ravens to total 30 carries for 250 yards, an average of 8.3 yards per carry. And they still have to close out game with four-minute offense.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 9, 2020
The jinx is in: Justin Tucker pulls stunning missed FG after praise from Fox’s Joe Buck, Troy Aikman - Jason Owens, Yahoo Sports
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is far and away the best kicker in the NFL, evidenced by his streak of 70 straight made field goals inside the 40-yard line. But early against Dallas, that streak came to an end, giving temporary hope to Cowboys fans everywhere.
For the superstitious among us, blame for the stunning miss will squarely land on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. The Fox announcers sung Tucker’s praise in the moments before the kick. Buck even said the word “jinx” just as the ball was being snapped.
For Tucker, a three-time Pro Bowler, the miss was just his second this season in 21 attempts and the first inside 50 yards. For anybody whose bankroll was impacted by Tucker’s miss, they know who to blame.
For the Ravens, who won 34-17, the missed kick didn’t much matter in the end.
The Cowboys have four remaining games this season, with their next one coming just five days from now against the Cincinnati Bengals. But Tuesday night’s loss, coupled with upset wins by the Giants and Football Team this weekend, means that the Cowboys’ season is unofficially officially over.
The Cowboys continued to hang on the notion that anything was possible considering the lackluster play of the NFC East; that everything was still in front of them; that they just needed to put it all together.
They can continue to say that if they want — they are just two games out of first place - but it will ring hollow. This is a bad team that does bad things and will be looking at a top-five pick in next spring’s draft.
The Cowboys have lost six of their last seven games and are guaranteed of their first losing record since 2015. In his last 40 games, Mike McCarthy’s teams have a 14-25-1 record. After a 12-day break because of the Ravens’ COVID-19 outbreak, the Cowboys’ defense looked like a unit that had not practiced at all. How else to explain giving up three rushes of at least 30 yards in the first half? The Cowboys allowed more than 200 yards on the ground for the fourth time this season, the most in the NFL. There have been 24 other 200-yard rushing games allowed this season.
It’s hard to not be overwhelmingly negative about this Dallas run defense after their performance Tuesday night, and Mike McCarthy didn’t exactly try to paint any lipstick on the pig that was his defense against the Ravens.
Mike McCarthy on the Cowboys run defense: “(Baltimore) is a unique offense, very physical offensive line. ... 300 yards is obviously astronomical. The key to the game was stopping the run and we definitely didn’t get that done tonight.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 9, 2020
Cowboys S Reggie Robinson expected to make NFL debut vs. Ravens - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
Reggie Robinson has been the only one of the Cowboys’ draft picks to not be active for a game this year, but that changed on Tuesday. With Donovan Wilson injured, Robinson was bumped up to the active roster and made his NFL debut, although it was easy to miss him during the game.
The Cowboys safety and rookie fourth-round pick is expected to make his NFL debut Tuesday evening against the Baltimore Ravens, sources said Tuesday. Robinson transitioned from cornerback to safety in training camp and was a healthy scratch the first 11 games, unable to crack the active roster on special teams. But his wait is believed to be over.
The former Tulsa and Cleburne High standout is preparing to be in uniform and, at minimum, see a role on special teams. While he may see sporadic defensive snaps in certain personnel groupings, starters Xavier Woods and Darian Thompson are slated to handle the bulk of defensive action at the position. Thompson will be making his first start since Week 4, people familiar with the situation have said.
On Monday, Dallas ruled out starting safety Donovan Wilson (groin) and placed reserve safety Steven Parker (ankle) on injured reserve. So Woods, Thompson, Saivion Smith and Robinson may represent the Cowboys’ safety group at M&T Bank Stadium. Smith, along with tackle/guard Jordan Mills, were elevated Tuesday from the practice squad.
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