It doesn’t get any easier for the Cowboys run defense with Dalvin Cook and Saquon Barkley up next on the schedule.
The offense had their chances to win the game, but they scored 28 points and had a 14-point fourth-quarter lead. We have to look at both sides here. The defense can’t keep letting this happen. The Cowboys last four games in terms of rushing yards allowed: 206, 240, 117, and 136, and with Dalvin Cook and the 8-1 Vikings up next, I expect everything to stay the same.
Dallas has allowed 143.1 rushing yards per game this year, which is the fourth-worst mark in the NFL.
Tony Pollard and Malik Davis ran the ball well, but could have Ezekiel Elliott changed the dynamic of the Cowboys’ loss in Green Bay?
Tony Pollard ran for 115 yards on 22 carries, as the Dallas Cowboys grinded out 159 yards on the ground at Lambeau Field. Even rookie Malik Davis looked solid, bursting through holes to rack up 38 yards on just five attempts.
So it wasn’t so much the production the Cowboys missed with Elliott sidelined for a second straight game with a sore knee.
But did the Cowboys miss their closer?
“It’s tough,” spectator Elliott said. “It’s tough to not be able to close that game out. You just gotta be able to learn from the mistakes and get back to it.”
Dallas held a 28-14 lead entering the fourth quarter, only to watch Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones lead a late push that resulted in a 31-28 overtime win for the Packers.
The Cowboys (6-3) lost for the first time since Dak Prescott’s return and dropped to third place in the NFC East. Dallas is at the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings (8-1) next.
The Cowboys had only two first downs in the fourth, both coming on their opening drive of the quarter. Perhaps having Elliott pound away at the Packers front might have extended that drive and led to points with Dallas up 28-21. Another score might have been enough to put Green Bay away.
Elliott, with two weeks to rest, prepared as if he was going to go Sunday, but was scratched before the game.
The Cowboys aggressiveness on fourth down may have cost them in overtime.
Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy stands by his decision to go for 4th down in OT vs. Packers
Here’s what McCarthy told reporters after the game:
“We were right on the line for a field goal,” McCarthy said. “Hey, to be honest with you, I thought we needed to go for it. I mean I called it on second down, especially with the way the game was going. Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. So our thing was just keep playing. We had good calls.
I’m fine with the decision obviously on fourth-and-3. Just didn’t convert.”
Six plays later Green Bay won the game. With the score remaining 28-28 after the failed fourth-down conversion, all the Packers needed was a field goal. Once again, Green Bay walked all over the Cowboys defense by driving 55 yards to set up Mason Crosby for an easy 28-yard field goal.
For what it’s worth, Maher wasn’t upset — or at least he didn’t show it. The Cowboys kicker thinks he would have made the kick, despite wind, but respected his coach’s decision.
Micah Parsons fears more big rushing days for Cowboys’ opponents: ‘It’s going to keep happening’ - Todd Brock, The Cowboys Wire
Opposing offenses are catching up to Dan Quinn’s defense, with the Cowboys best defender looking for answers.
Parsons called the collapse “disgusting,” but he also seemed to bracing himself for something bigger and more ominous that he senses could be looming on the horizon in Dallas.
Packers backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for over 200 yards on the ground in Week 10, and the Cowboys run defense faces a murderer’s row of running threats for the rest of the regular season. And that has the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year concerned.
“We’ve just got to be accountable,” Parsons explained to reporters after the 31-28 overtime final. “We’ve got to hold our gaps. We’ve got to come downhill and stop it. It’s going to keep happening until we stop it. Period. We can rush as much as we want, but until we put this flame out, of this running the ball stuff, we’re never going to be as good as we need to be. Period. We’ve got to get better.”
Nine games in, the Cowboys are allowing 143.1 rushing yards per game. Only three teams are posting worse numbers in the category. And after now giving up over 200 rushing yards in back-to-back outings, backs like Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook, the Giants’ Saquon Barley, and Indianapolis’s Jonathan Taylor (the Cowboys’ next three opponents) have to be licking their chops.
The Cowboys will look for a win against the NFC North next week before their Thanksgiving rematch with the Giants.
Tougher Tests Now Lie Ahead for Cowboys
Fresh off their bye, the Cowboys couldn’t hold on against the struggling Packers. Things aren’t going to get any easier for Dallas the rest of November, as it will need to take down some even tougher teams if it hopes to bounce back from this loss.
In Week 11, the Cowboys will go on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings, who are 8-1 and will be coming off an impressive road win over the Buffalo Bills. Then, Dallas will have a quick turnaround for Week 12, when it hosts the NFC East rival New York Giants on Thanksgiving.
If the Cowboys are going to stay close in the NFC East race, they can’t afford a three-game losing streak. The Philadelphia Eagles are 8-0 and likely to add another win on Monday night against the Washington Commanders, while the Giants are 7-2 and have been one of the league’s surprise teams.
Dallas is 6-3 and sitting as the No. 6 seed in the NFC, a game ahead of the San Francisco 49ers (5-4) in the wild-card race. So at this point, the Cowboys are still in a great spot to make the playoffs. But they’ll need to correct their issues and avoid a prolonged rough stretch, even as they face some big tests.
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