The Cowboys were coming off a tremendous win in New York and were riding high. The defense was starting to be regarded as a top-tier unit. The offense seemed cohesive and efficient.
All those expectations and all that excitement has been flushed down the drain after an embarrassing 27-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Let's look at what caused such a disappointing game.
Felix Jones has been a disappointment since the day he arrived in Dallas. I haven’t liked him much since he was drafted, and that opinion isn’t changing.
On the first play of the game, Felix Jones fumbled a kickoff return that put Seattle in scoring position early.
Jones returned every kickoff after the turnover despite being seven yards deep in the end zone.
Jones was directly responsible for the terrible starting field position that the offense had to endure.
In addition to his sickening play as returner, he was no better when given opportunities. Felix isn’t the game-changing player he once was. He doesn’t pass block well and hasn’t proven that he is an asset for this team. It might be time to move on.
Abandoning the Run Game
DeMarco Murray started the game pretty well. The way he plays is exactly how you want your workhorse back to play. He starts with small gains and consistently gets better as the game goes on.
The Cowboys were down 13-7 at the half and seemed to panic on offense in an attempt to get back ahead.
DeMarco Murray was given the ball three times in the second half.
The Cowboys abandoned their balanced-offense philosophy to turn into a pass-happy offense against one of the best secondaries in the league.
Not smart at all.
The Cowboys became predictable and started to force plays instead of taking control of the game and managing it through efficient play-calling.
Last week, we saw a defense that reminded us of the Doomsday Defense of old. They were moving to the ball, playing with swagger and making plays on every level.
That same defense held two of the NFL’s most prolific receivers to 96 combined receiving yards.
This week? Not so lucky.
The Cowboys were unable to get to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson with any type of consistency, and the pass defense reminded me of what they had last season.
Russell Wilson was able to put together an impressive 15-for-20, 151-yard, one-touchdown performance. It wasn’t the numbers that were impressive. It was how easy it was to attain them.
It seemed like every play a Seattle receiver was running wide-open. Anthony McCoy isn’t exactly an elite tight end, and to allow him to be effective is completely embarrassing.
Furthermore, Marshawn Lynch was able to unload beast mode (again) and put up 122 yards and a touchdown against what was supposed to be a very strong linebacker group.
I’m not sure what happened because the Cowboys are more talented than the Seahawks. I will say that the defense looked passionless, and that’s not what we want to see.
A Case of the Dropsies
This was a pretty standard play call today for the Cowboys: Tony Romo takes the snap, goes through his reads, passes the ball and the receiver drops the pass.
The Cowboys have sure-handed receivers in Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. Drops have never really been a big concern with these guys, but today was a different story.
I don’t have the exact numbers, but I know Jason Witten dropped at least three critical passes. Dez Bryant was ineffective in every facet of the game. Miles Austin was the only receiver who really seemed to remember how to catch.
When Romo is escaping pressure and trying to make plays, someone has to help him. Time and time again, Romo would spin out of pressure to load up and deliver a pass that the receiver just couldn’t handle.
When you’re trying to get critics off your back, this isn’t the way to do it. Dropped passes don’t win Super Bowls.
Yes, this was a tough loss caused by simple mistakes. However, the season isn’t over yet.
There is a lot of work to be done, but it is only Week 2.
We have to expect that the Cowboys will put in work to get better. The bright side is that the Cowboys were humbled very early and should be able to use this loss as motivation.
The season isn’t over, so let's not panic. If the Cowboys continue to lose games for themselves, though, it’s a top-15 draft pick all over again.
Let's see what happens.