Being as objective and rational as possible here, it is difficult to imagine a way in which Sunday night could have gone more poorly for the Dallas Cowboys.
With one game left to go the Cowboys are the only team in the NFL who has yet to score a touchdown this season and the performance itself would have been enough reason to eye the pitchforks in the closet; however, disaster was waiting for the team in the game’s final moments with bad news on the injury front, particularly involving Dak Prescott.
We discussed everything that happened on Sunday night on The Postgame on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Losing your franchise quarterback is tough enough on an offense, but the Cowboys didn’t exactly show signs of life throughout their loss to the Buccaneers.
There were mostly bad things throughout Sunday’s night’s game (if you want to even call it a game). Here is our first stock report of the 2022 Dallas Cowboys season.
Stock Up: Micah Parsons
Two sacks against Tom Brady are certainly something to be proud of.
Defensively the Cowboys kept themselves in the game until the water broke through the dam, and Micah Parsons was a huge reason for that. We have talked a lot about the inevitable regression coming as far as volume statistics are concerned but it was great to see Parsons pick up where he left off last season.
Stock Up: Donovan Wilson
The Cowboys curiously left Markquese Bell and Israel Mukuamu out of this game, but Donovan Wilson reminded everyone why he is an elder statesmen when he picked off Tom Brady. If you generate a turnover your stock automatically goes up.
Stock Up: Brett Maher
He has never missed a field goal while wearing number 19 for the Dallas Cowboys.
Stock Down: Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones
We spent all of the offseason talking about the lack of offensive line depth on this team and it was challenged to an embarrassing degree.
We spent all of the offseason talking about the lack of wide receiver depth on this team and it was challenged to an embarrassing degree.
The Cowboys made this bed of their own decisions and saw all of their pride spill itself out in embarrassing fashion throughout this “contest” against the Buccaneers. There were problems all over the field but it was clear as day - and it was even highlighted by Cris Collinsworth on the NBC broadcast - how ill-prepared the Cowboys made themselves for this season.
Everybody in the world saw how poorly this team went about getting ready for this whole thing and whether out of ignorance or arrogance, the front office ignored them all.
Stock Down: Kellen Moore
Kellen Moorer, if you are reading this, you don’t have to find the most complicated ways in the world to give Tony Pollard the ball. Just hand it to him. Throw it to him. Keep it simple.
The Cowboys tried to force some trickery into the game with Pollard early on and it blew up in Moore’s face. Of course they decided to turtle up and regress as we have seen many times in the Kellen Moore era. When are they going to let this thing be fully and totally loose?
By the way, the Cowboys told us many times that they were going to involve KaVontae Turpin in the offense plenty. He did not have a single offensive touch against the Buccaneers. Not one.
Stock Down: Dak Prescott
The injury is a separate thing here, so keeping that separate it should be said that Dak Prescott played pretty badly while in the game.
Now you can make a strong argument that the Cowboys did their franchise quarterback no favors by giving him a makeshift offensive line and one of the worst receiver groups in the NFL to work with. Tampa Bay was completely unafraid of any non-CeeDee Lamb option which left Dak to play hero and that is obviously a difficult role to pull off.
But there were a lot of forced passes and some glaring mistakes. It was all bad.
Stock Down: CeeDee Lamb
Just like with Prescott, it is difficult to place an enormous amount of blame at Lamb’s feet, but this is about stock and he did not exactly live up to any sort of hype.
Lamb was targeted 11 times against the Buccaneers and had only two catches for 29 yards. The Cowboys banked on him elevating their entire offense and he did not live up to that challenge.
Stock Down: Terence Steele
At one point in time, Terence Steele had more penalties by himself than the Buccaneers had as a team. There are many places to point fingers as a result of Sunday night but Steele was another bet that the Cowboys made over the offseason.
He is still a young player but he did not have his best game on Sunday.
Stock Down: Team Health
The Cowboys entered this game with Tyron Smith and James Washington on injured reserve. Michael Gallup is not there and is obviously not 100%.
Dak Prescott is now out for the foreseeable future. We will see what the deal is with Connor McGovern and if all truly is well with Jayron Kearse. This felt a lot like the Arizona Cardinals game in 2008 when Dallas lost Tony Romo, Felix Jones, and Matt McBriar in what felt like one fell swoop.
Stock Down: The 2022 Season
Back to our talking point at the beginning here - how is it possible that things get better for the Cowboys moving forward? Almost all would agree that Cooper Rush is a significant step backwards and this offense was dreadful with Prescott commanding it.
It was reported late Sunday night that Dak is expected to miss 6-8 weeks as a result of his surgery. These are the next eight weeks for this team:
- Cincinnati Bengals
- at New York Giants
- Washington Commanders
- at Los Angeles Rams
- at Philadelphia Eagles
- Detroit Lions
- Chicago Bears
If Dak missed that entire stretch he would return for a road game against the Green Bay Packers, but how many games could this team win without him? The Bengals lost on Sunday but almost didn’t. There are three division games in there (two on the road) including a trip to visit the remaining Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. Both the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears look improved.
Stock is very down on this season as a whole, and we are barely finishing the first week.