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Cowboys news: Dan Quinn gives his view on the defensive collapse versus Buffalo

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Dallas Cowboys v Buffalo Bills Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Dan Quinn points at tackling issues in run defense woes - Nick Harris, DallasCowboys.com

Dan Quinn tries to explain the terrible defensive performance.

Fresh off giving up 266 yards on the ground on Sunday in the 31-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills – the most rushing yards allowed by the Cowboys since 2012 – defensive coordinator Dan Quinn took the podium at The Star in Frisco on Monday to recap what went wrong for his defensive unit in the big loss.

Buffalo running back James Cook accounted for 179 of those yards as he was able to break contain on a number of occasions and get around the edges for big gains. Added in, the Cowboys defense missed 12 tackles in the running game alone which allowed for the Bills’ big day.

“The biggest impact on this game was our tackling and our ball-hawking,” Quinn said. “We’re excellent at those two things, and we had a poor performance in both. Our tackling wasn’t up to the standard we’ve set. That is our secret sauce, our tackling and our ball-hawking, and we didn’t have it.”

[...]

“I would say it’s more in the concentration piece,” he said. “The other is maybe you’re too aggressive. You’re flying past and not taking the right angle. Usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. In this case, we needed to take the extra step. We weren’t going to lunge and miss because we didn’t have the right angle in taking the next step.”

Eagles loss on Monday night keeps Cowboys alive in NFC East title race - BTB

Cowboys caught a huge break on Monday night.

At present time the Dallas Cowboys still lead the division.

Dallas Cowboys...................... 10-4

Philadelphia Eagles................. 10-4

New York Giants....................... 5-9

Washington Commanders....... 4-10

As was the case last week the Eagles still control their own destiny relative to the division. If they win out the NFC East likely belongs to them.

But if the Eagles slip up and the Cowboys win out then obviously it goes to Dallas. And what’s more is that because Dallas beat Seattle they do not lose any kind of pace with Philly after their loss to Buffalo (who the Eagles beat).

Cowboys clinch playoff spot, but ‘mind-boggling’ road woes continue - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys home and away performances are a stark difference, and could be a playoff problem.

The Cowboys are 7-0 at AT&T Stadium this season, averaging 39.9 points and 431.7 yards per game. They are 3-4 on the road, averaging 21.7 points and 304.6 yards per game. They have outscored opponents by 171 points at home and are minus-4 on the road. They are plus-10 in turnover margin at home and minus-1 on the road.

“It’s a gap,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “That was part of my message. We’ve played so well at home, and there’s just too big of a gap on the road games. We’re conscious of it.”

Said Micah Parsons: “Honestly, just unacceptable at this point. It’s no excuse for it. It’s mind-boggling. I don’t understand it, why we’re not playing well and why we’re not coming together on the road.”

In the Super Bowl era, the largest home/road point differential belongs to the 1982 Pittsburgh Steelers, in a strike-shortened season, at 20 points. At No. 2 are the 2014 Green Bay Packers (minus-18.8), coached by McCarthy. The 2023 Cowboys are third at minus-18.2 points per game.

“I think there’s normally a gap,” McCarthy said. “I know the last place I was at [Green Bay], I think the record would reflect that. But it’s about performance. You want to be hardened in these games. That’s why I go back to the schedule. Playing Philadelphia, Buffalo, Miami — I mean, this stretch is a great stretch for us to get ready for playoff football, but we’ve got to play better than this.”

Tyreek Hill could play against the Dallas Cowboys, McDaniel confirms - Nicolas Garcia, NBC Miami

Dallas may have to face the Cheetah.

After a shutout victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, Mike McDaniel confirmed Tyreek Hill could be back on the field for the Miami Dolphins’ Christmas Eve game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Hill is famously closing in on the 2,000-yard mark for receiving yards this season with 1,542 yards and 12 touchdowns so far.

“Currently, to me, if you are working in a player out before the game, inherently they’re close. You know, if you’re if you are taking it to the game day and putting them through a workout for me, that that is close enough that you couldn’t rule it out,” McDaniel said in his day-after-the-game press conference.

“So, you know, as far as how it progresses during the week, we’ll take that a day at a time.”

Hill leads the NFL in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns this season and has helped the Dolphins to the first place in the AFC East.

Analysis: Josh Allen and the Bills show how quickly things can turn around in the NFL - Rob Maaddi, AP

If the Cowboys beat the Dolphins on Sunday, the media will call them contenders again.

The game of Week 15 turned into a dud when Buffalo dominated Dallas and exposed the Cowboys in a 31-10 victory Sunday.

In the process, Dak Prescott’s MVP bid took a hit.

Allen helped the Bills (8-6) save their season in a win at Kansas City last week and watched James Cook carry the offense by leading a stellar rushing attack against the Cowboys.

Allen completed only seven passes against Dallas because Micah Parsons and the rest of the defense couldn’t stop Cook, who ran for 179 yards.

“We weren’t physical enough,” Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. “They were more physical than we were.”

Now, nobody is talking about firing McDermott. Buffalo still has a shot to win the AFC East. The Bills need to gain one game on the Dolphins (10-4) to make their showdown in Miami in Week 18 for first place. The Cowboys (10-4) visit the Dolphins next week while the Bills visit the Chargers (5-9).

“The NFL is a one-week-at-a-time league,” McDermott said.

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