A win on the road in 2018? Yes, the Dallas Cowboys broke the road curse and averted Armageddon by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 on Sunday Night Football.
Dak Presscott looked like the 2016 Rookie of the Year player we thought he would be. The offensive line was back to mauling opposing defenses. Scott Linehan looked like Sean Payton calling out innovative and creative plays. Jason Garrett tuned into Sean McCay, making him a gutsy head coach who leads his team with confidence.
The season is saved.
This is the trap that Cowboys fans will fall into this week if they buy back into the Kool-Aid. While the victory over the Eagles was amazing and satisfying, it still was just one game. There was still plenty to work on in this game for the team to work on.
Dak did much better than he did last week and was one of the main reasons the team won the game Sunday night. His poise in the pocket led to some incredible throws that helped push the offense. It showed on the stat sheet as well, completing 26 of his 36 passes and throwing for 270 yards. He threw in one touchdown and ran one in as well. For this team to succeed, that is the perfect range for Dak to play at. Anymore and Dak will not succeed and the game plan needs to reflect that.
Now, the Bad Dak made a cameo appearance on Sunday night as well. He almost threw a pick, he allowed sacks to happen because of his lack of awareness and also he fumbled the football while trying to avoid another sack. These mistakes have to go if Dak is to successfully lead this team.
The offensive scheme and play calling also got better for the Cowboys. It seemed that both Garrett and Linehan were up to the challenge of fixing this offense and they unveiled new wrinkles to the offense. They also were able to mix the calls up to help confuse the Eagles defense so they don’t key in on specific plays. Oh and they realized that they have a stud running back named Ezekiel Elliott and he needs the ball a lot.
Yet, again with the good comes the bad. While overall the play-calling was a success, there were times where the old Linehan would come out. One particular moment came during the first play of the second half. Because the Cowboys ALWAYS run either a run or a bootleg play, the Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett sniffed it out as a bootleg and slammed Dak to the ground.
Another old gimmick of Linehan showed up at the end of the game when the Cowboys needed to just run out the clock and instead they fiddled around and let the Eagles get back with plenty of time left. These things are what kill this team,
Now the team has a real chance to right the wrongs and get better if they embrace the changes they made in this game. The defense is young and talented and the offense has the potential to get this team to the playoffs.
The problem is that we’ve seen the short-term win that saved the season already and seen this team go back their old ways again. Now, Dallas has a road-game against Atlanta this week and it brings up memories of last season and the game that broke Dak Presscott.
Will the team continue to embrace the changes that will make them winners again or will they fall back down to Earth and force the owner to purge this coaching staff?
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