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The Cowboys didn’t challenge Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff at all in their Week 1 loss

A soft Cowboys defense let Goff have whatever he wanted.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There was something particularly disgusting about the way that the Dallas Cowboys lost their season opener. We were all led to believe that we would be seeing something different from the Cowboys in 2020, a different disposition that exhibited more forward-level thinking on both offense and defense.

This did not seem to be the case against the Rams. Dallas did little to challenge the NFC Champions from two seasons ago and instead played directly into the hand that Los Angeles wanted in their brand new stadium’s debut.

It is embarrassing how the Cowboys let Jared Goff dink and dunk his way to victory

Offensively, the Cowboys were fine going 30 miles per hour, but that isn’t the conversation that we’re having today. Holding Sean McVay’s offense to 20 points can be considered a victory, but there was a feeling that the Cowboys could have done more to limit the Rams output.

More specifically is the fact that their quarterback, Jared Goff, is very beatable. He’s somebody that has engendered plenty of doubters, but to his credit he did enough not to lose for LA on Sunday night.

Let’s check out his passing chart from the game.

With no disrespect intended for young Goff, it really was a matter of not losing for Los Angeles more than leading his team to beating the Cowboys. And that’s considering that he even threw an interception.

Looking at Goff’s passing chart from Sunday night, via Next Gen Stats, is infuriating. He rarely threw over 10 yards downfield and lived in Checkdown City. The Cowboys completely let him have the underneath stuff despite the fact that he is regarded as a quarterback who struggles past his first read. They literally created the optimum environment for Goff to thrive in. Six of his 20 completions came behind the line of scrimmage for goodness sake.

We were all led to believe that the Cowboys would be more aggressive, playing more tight press man, and creating havoc defensively in 2020. It’s those types of things that disrupt the first read for quarterbacks like Goff or San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo that historically aren’t great when having to process more. We know that the Cowboys have the talent to disrupt the quarterback, they just didn’t find creative enough ways to do so.

Decisions like these can plague a defense both in game and across an entire season. The Cowboys need to quickly identify how to attack opposing signal-caller’s weaknesses and they need to start soon. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will be in the house on Sunday and the Cowboys will be without Leighton Vander Esch making things all the more difficult.

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