It is often said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but does that also apply to sports? The Dallas Cowboys seemed to be coming into this 2017 season thinking they had a shot at the big one. Honestly, I thought so too, but I’m also an optimistic fan.
Now that they have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, the fanbase can only hope they learned their lesson. Looking back, it is easy to see a few places where the team went wrong.
Ezekiel Elliott had some off-field issues. Those could have been avoided. His off-field antics got him in some legal trouble, but even after the charges were cleared legally, the NFL wanted some justice to be had. It’s hard to argue that the suspension wasn’t deserved. Had Elliott been behaving, then the situation would never had arisen.
Then the actual game that got the team out of the playoffs had some regrets as well. Hopefully, the Cowboys can learn from the man losing lessons of 2017.
There were definitely some positives to be taken from the loss to the Seahawks. Ezekiel Elliott came back from a six-game suspension, and he was able to play as though he never missed a single practice. He had 24 carries in his first game back. With those 24
Ezekiel Elliott came back from a six-game suspension, and he was able to play as though he never missed a single practice. He had 24 carries in his first game back. With those 24 carries, Zeke put up 97 yards. The offensive line was able to block very well for the run overall. Dak Prescott had 4 carries for 21 yards, and Rod Smith was 2 for 10 yards. The offense had a total of 128 rushing yards.
Then Prescott threw for 182 yards as well. The offense looked pretty good statistically. The much more impressive aspect though is the defense. They held
They held Russell Wilson to under 100 yards passing. He finished with 93. The defense held Seattle’s offense to under 100 yards rushing as well. The Seahawks only had 76 rush yards. The defense added three sacks in a performance that, on paper, should have been an overwhelming victory for the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, the negatives of the game that eliminated the Cowboys, which can be said for any loss. Starting with the most obvious, the offense could not put the ball in the end zone. There were no touchdowns scored by the Dallas Cowboys. There were plenty of opportunities, but they just couldn’t finish.
The Cowboys offense lacked a lot when it came to the red zone. There is one series in particular that is driving fans insane. The media questioned it repeatedly too. The Cowboys were on the Seahawks 3-yard line with first and goal. They decided to pass instead of sticking to their bread and butter of a great run game, the Cowboys passed. They ran all season, but not this one time.
They then did a rollout pass which didn’t work and then on third down they lost yardage with a huge sack. Thus, the Dallas Cowboys had to settle for a field goal.
Another momentous down of the game was that Dez Bryant lost a fumble. He fumbled, and it was recovered by K.J. Wright. To top it off Dez has not been playing up to a number 1 receiver level. That leaves the question of what will the Cowboys do with him in the offseason. Dez only had 3 catches. He did lead the team in receiving, but it was a measly 44 yards. A true number one needs to do more than just be a “threat.” He needs to be a consistent playmaker, a reliable star.
The last negative is a pretty obvious one. The Cowboys turnovers happened at the worst locations. Russell Wilson was able to capitalize twice and throw for two touchdowns. Both touchdown passes were under 10 yards. The first being a 3-yard touchdown to Jimmy Graham, and the second was a 6-yard pass to Doug Baldwin. The Cowboys look to rebound against the Eagles who have already clinched a first round bye in the playoffs.