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Cowboys narrowly escape colossal upset, beat Texans 27-23

The Cowboys allowed that game against the Texans to be way too close.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys just beat the Texans. That’s the good thing. The fashion in which they won? Well, it wasn’t great, but as Scott Hanson said post-game on redzone, “a win is a win is a win.”

Points of emphasis are important to key in on in an attempt to perfect them. The Cowboys needed to start fast today as they have been slow out of the gate in recent weeks, and they did just that. However, after a touchdown, and three and out forced by the defense, KaVontae Turpin muffed a punt and set up a Texans touchdown. After that, the Cowboys got the ball back and went three and out. A fast start was negated by a special teams blunder and offensive woes.

Another point of emphasis is not letting bad teams hang around. They did it last week with the Colts for the entire first half, and the same thing happened today. It’s not a recipe for success. Look at the Eagles, they were beating the Giants 21-0 with four minutes left of the first half (and the Giants aren’t that bad). Two first half turnovers is the furthest thing from a recipe for success against a defense that is one of the NFL’s worst. Do that against a good team? It’ll be another first-round exit for a team that has the second-best odds in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl.

The first half was as sloppy of a half as they’ve played all season. From the muffed punt, to a tipped pass that then bounced off Noah Brown that led to an interception, to a Dalton Schultz dropped touchdown, it was ugly. Sprinkle in three penalties against the NFL’s worst team, and it was just an ugly outing for the first 30 minutes.

Even the second half wasn’t pretty. Besides the 98-yard drive that won the game with less than a minute left, this team played perhaps it’s worst game all season. It is hard to deny they play with their food a bit too much and that type of approach, or lack of execution, isn’t sustainable.

Dak Prescott threw two interceptions, something that is starting to become worrisome. The first one was a tipped pass, but there were three, maybe four more throws the rest of the game that were in the danger zone for an interception. The last one was the fault of the pass rush. But smart throws and limiting mistakes are key when you have such a good running game, and this offense needs to better grasp that concept.

Even the defense didn’t play that well. The fourth-down stop inside the five-yard line following Dak’s fourth quarter interception was crucial, but they didn’t log a sack all game long. Sacks are imperative to the well-oiled machine this defense has become because without them, the weak side of the secondary will be attacked and exploited, similar to how Kelvin Joseph was in the first half.

It’s hard to enjoy a win like this, especially with the Eagles pounding the Giants. Even if the Cowboys win out, the Eagles will need to slip in another game besides the one in Dallas for the Cowboys to have a chance at the division. In all likelihood, they will be playing whoever wins the NFC South in the first round. Will they win? Well, they’ve played six bad quarters of football the past two weeks. They need to straighten out and again, stop playing with their food if they want to break the ceiling of mediocrity they’ve been accustomed to for two decades.

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