Jerry Jones, Scott Linehan Decline Comment on Abysmal Performance vs. Panthers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2018

OXNARD, CA - AUGUST 04:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is seen during training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields on August 4, 2018 in Oxnard, California.  (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The silence of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan spoke volumes as the team opened the 2018 NFL regular season with a 16-8 defeat to the Carolina Panthers.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Jones made a quick exit from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, without speaking to reporters. The Dallas Morning News' Brandon George reported Linehan also declined to speak with the media as he left the team's locker room.

The numbers speak to how badly Dallas' offense performed Sunday. The Cowboys finished with 232 total yards. Dak Prescott was 19-of-29 for 170 yards, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

"We got to start faster," Elliott said after the game, per the Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. "That's not Dallas Cowboys football. That's not how we've ever played. If we want to succeed, if we want to win ball games, we can't come out there and lay an egg in the first half."

As the Morning News' David Moore noted, Sunday wasn't an aberration either:

Granted, there was a notable departure from last year's team, and signing Allen Hurns wasn't a like-for-like replacement for Dez Bryant. After the game, Bryant agreed with the opinion he and former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey would've changed the game in Dallas' favor:

One could throw Jason Witten into the mix as well. Witten had been declining prior to his retirement, but going to Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin at tight end is a clear downgrade.

The Cowboys may try to brush this off as a bad day at the office to open the season. Moore highlighted, however, how these problems date back to last season.

Dallas was 10th in offensive efficiency in 2017, down from third the year before, per Football Outsiders, and the team failed to properly address a pair of notable personnel losses.

Firing Linehan is probably out of the question after just one game, and Prescott is the unquestioned starting quarterback. Because of those two factors, the team may have to get creative in how it turns its offense around.

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