The Dallas Cowboys needed to receive help. Dallas needed to win out and get losses from Detroit, Atlanta and/or Carolina to reach the postseason. Around three o’clock central time on Sunday, the team received some aid from Cincinnati and New Orleans, who defeated the Lions and Falcons in the early games. All the Cowboys needed to do was beat Seattle this week, and have Atlanta lose next week to put the Cowboys in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.
However, a season marred by injuries, suspensions, drama and miscues came to a fitting end. The Cowboys fell to the Seattle Seahawks 21-12, and have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. The Cowboys struggled to protect Dak Prescott, commit to Ezekiel Elliott in the run game, and move the ball downfield in the pass game. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it has been the case in several of the Cowboys’ disappointing performances this season.
The Cowboys began the game by shutting down the Seattle offense. However, the offense couldn’t capitalize off the defense’s fast start. The team led just 6-0 as the first half neared an end. Then, a Dez Bryant fumble set the Seahawks up with a short field. The Seahawks exploited a redzone mismatch as Russell Wilson connected on a short touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, who was matched up with 5-foot-10 corner Jourdan Lewis. After a field goal to close the half, the Cowboys led 9-7 at halftime.
The Cowboys had an opportunity to start fresh in the second half. However, the offense continued their spiral, as Dak Prescott threw a pick-six to give the Cowboys a 14-9 lead. A Dallas field goal trimmed the deficit to 14-12, and the Cowboys were able to move the ball within striking distance to take the lead. Once again, however, the team turned the ball over, as K.J. Wright intercepted a deflected pass from Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant.
The Seahawks drove down the field and grabbed a 21-12 lead with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. After driving down the field, the Cowboys were set up with first and goal from the Seahawks’ three-yard line. Newly reinstated running back Ezekiel Elliott was not given the ball inside the 5-yard line, as the Cowboys moved backwards to the 17-yard line. Dan Bailey proceeded to miss a 34-yard field goal, but the team shouldn’t have been settling for a field goal in the first place.
A late Dallas drive put the team within field goal range to possibly get back within six points of Seattle. However, another Dan Bailey missed field goal put an end to the comeback bid, and the Cowboys’ playoff hopes. Now, the team must reflect on a disappointing season that began with high expectations. Dallas will finish their season against the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.
Despite the frustrating results, football is still just a game. What really matters is spending time with friends, family, and loved ones during the Holidays. With that in mind, I want to personally wish everyone reading this a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a personal thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. There is always next year for the Dallas Cowboys, and I look forward to following the team along with all of you next week, and next season.