After a red hot 3-0 start, the Dallas Cowboys potent offense short-circuited in a 12-10 road loss to the New Orleans Saints marking the first time since 1998 they won a game without scoring a touchdown. Here are the four biggest takeaways from tonight’s game.
1. Offensive Line
The supposed best line in football did not live up to that billing tonight as they opened holes for a whopping 2.3ypc. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott was limited to just 35 yards on 18 carries for 1.9ypc. Not only that but despite only allowing one sack the pass protection was arguably the worse it’s been all season. Finally stalwart left tackle Tyron Smith’s ankle was rolled up on late in the fourth quarter rounding out an awful performance. Line coach Marc Colombo will need to show improvements next week if the offense wants to get back on track.
2. Where’s Cooper?
Despite a fast start to the season, wide receiver Amari Cooper had his worse game of the young season against the best corner he’s faced in Marshon Lattimore who limited him to five catches for 48 yards and drew a couple of offensive pass interference calls in the process. For Cooper to get paid the type of money he wants he will need better performances against the top corners in the league. The fact that the rest of the unit combined for four catches and 46 yards didn’t help matters either as tight ends Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin led in yards.
The lone bright spot tonight the defense did everything in its power to help the team win. Corner Chidobe Awuzie came away with an interception on a tip drill and the unit notched five sacks none bigger than the one by linebacker Jaylon Smith on third down to give the offense a chance to win the game. They also limited Saints do-everything running back Alvin Kamara to just 69 yards on 17 carries and out of the endzone along with allowing just 266 yards of offense. This unit is looking scary good.
4. Dak Prescott
I know the numbers don’t look impressive but Prescott played a good game all things considering. No run game. Suspect blocking. Little help from the receiving core. He still managed to complete 22-of-33 passes for 223 yards and even gave the offense a chance at a Hail Mary at the end of the game. One must also give him credit for standing in there and taking as many shots as he did. You have to admit so far this season he is looking more and more like the quarterback Cowboys fans have been hoping for.