The Dallas Cowboys (3-2, 2-0) are currently hanging onto their division lead after dropping the last two games against respectable teams of the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. After a 3-0 start to begin the season, the Cowboys find themselves in a situation where they cannot seem to put together a complete game, it seems as if the team does not start the game with any intensity and that’s hurting the Cowboys in a big way.
I want to discuss a few changes the team needs to make in order to get some momentum going as we aim closer towards the second half of the season.
Execution! Execution! Execution!
After Sunday night’s 34-24 loss against the Packers, fans on social media were livid in the way the team came out from beginning up until the end of the third quarter as we witnessed countless turnovers, penalties, and bad calls.
There was plenty of blame to go around from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett, entire defense and the list goes on and on but I honestly believe lack of execution from the players killed them.
Lack of execution means not playing or running the plays to the plays to the best of your abilities. This tends to happen most times when the team is either losing or does not have confidence with who they are going up against and you will not win many games in this league with that mentality.
First off on the Cowboy’s first offensive possession, they were driving the ball down the field with ease with a mix of run and pass plays until a deep pass down the middle of the field bounces off of Amari Cooper’s hands and Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander came away with the interception.
Had Prescott lead the ball in front of Cooper and then Amari secured the catch before thinking touchdown, the Cowboys would have led 7-0 instead of trailing.
On the very next Cowboys possession, Prescott again completed a deep pass to Cooper to set the offense up inside the Packers 30-yard line.
Three plays later, the offensive line does not hold their block and allows defensive end, Preston Smith, to take the Cowboys out of field goal range in which they had to punt the ball. On those two possessions alone, the Dallas offense lacked focus and concentration and it cost them 10 points on their first two drives as the Packers cashed in and led 14-0 in the first quarter.
Up until the last three minutes in the third quarter when the Cowboys were down 31-3, they showed no heart, no passion, nor execution through the first three-quarters of the game.
So, if the Cowboys want to get back on track and prove to the world they are one of the better teams in the NFC then they should first execute when they have the ball from start to finish.
Stopping the Run
The Cowboys defense dating back to last season’s divisional playoff loss against the Los Angeles Rams have struggled to stop the opposing team from running the ball.
The front office continues to ignore drafting or adding a run-stopping defensive tackle who can clog up the middle lanes and wreak havoc in the pocket, which teams week after week continue to exploit.
Packers running back Aaron Jones had a career day on Sunday as he carried the ball 19 times for 107 yards and a career-high four touchdowns as he knifed through the Dallas defense.
Jones also showed his versatility in the passing game as he added 75 yards on 7 catches which made Aaron Rodgers have a relaxed and calm day through the air.
The Cowboys are missing DT Antwaun Woods who has missed the last two games with an MCL Sprain he suffered in week 2 against Washington Redskins, as he provides the big body in the middle they sorely miss to make teams ineffective running the ball.
They should get Woods back possibly on Sunday when they take on the New York Jets or they may want him at 100% when they play Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks.
The Cowboys have a chance to get back focused and clean up some sloppiness as they take on the 0-4 Jets in a game they should fairly win to improve to 4-2.
Use this game to start out fast and with some energy, clean up penalties and cash in on trips to the red zone. Were only five weeks into the season and they are still at the top of the NFC East so there is still time to make some changes on both sides of the ball.
Remember around this time last season the Cowboys were fresh off a bye week with a 3-5 record and finished the season with a 10-6 record and a playoff spot, so let’s not throw in the towel just yet because I believe Dallas will get back to playing sound football as long as they don’t get in their own way.
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