The Dallas Cowboys beat the Titans 27-13. The beginning of the game was unsettling, to say the least. We use the analogy that the Cowboys continually “let bad teams hang around,” and that rang true here. They turned the ball over three times in the first half and some of them were quite ugly.
Committing three first half turnovers is inexcusable against any team. How about against a team that is hardly playing for anything? It’s really hard to put it into words, especially that is was the most turnovers Dak Prescott has ever had in a half of NFL football. Along with that, this team struggles to play a complete game and it’s becoming downright scary with the playoffs in just a few weeks. When three first half turnovers happen against good teams, the opposition will capitalize. It is moving from a point of emphasis to a deep concern for this offense. They have to figure out a way to limit it.
The first down runs all game were ineffective. If it weren’t for some costly Titans penalties (10 for 124 yards, to be exact), those bad plays would have been under a bit more of a spotlight. There were definitely moments tonight that had a nostalgic feel of a Jason Garrett offense; simple minded and non-complex.
Dalton Schultz and T.Y Hilton both had really good games. Schultz caught seven balls, his most since week one, for 56 yards and two scores. Hilton had four receptions for 50 yards and caught the second longest ball of the night for the Cowboys. His reliability since joining the Cowboys has been a work of art and is greatly appreciated as Michael Gallup and Noah Brown have proven to be inconsistent.
CeeDee Lamb had his third consecutive 100-yard game and caught 11 balls, tying his season high. His emergence as a true WR1 has been more than welcomed.
Besides for one erratic throw that led to an interception before half, Prescott had a pretty good game. He completed 70% of his passes and threw for 282 yards, his third highest total of the season.
Other than that offensively, the rushing attack needs some fine tuning. The Titans have one of the NFL’s very best rush defenses, but this marked the third straight week in which the Cowboys did not have a running back eclipse four yards per carry, which is a modest number for today’s NFL. Malik Davis played well given the circumstances, but they will need their backfield to take on a bigger role come playoff time and a sub-four YPC is not going to cut it.
There were some bad plays on defense, but at large, they played well. The Cowboys were able to sack Joshua Dobbs twice and although that number isn’t great, it’s an improvement from last week, which is nice to see. These past few weeks have been about just that: improvement.
The Cowboys will close the regular season in Washington in a game that may matter if the Eagles manage to drop their game against the Saints. If not, we very well may see a lot more of Malik Davis, the return of Cooper Rush, and a few other names that have not filled the stat sheet this season. Keep a close eye on the Carolina, Tampa Bay game this weekend, too. In all likelihood, the winner there will be the Cowboys Wild Card opponent.