Dallas Cowboys Insider
From the start, this felt like it could be a irritating sport to judge, and the Cowboys had been all too completely satisfied to make that thought a actuality.
It was a bizarre place to be — on the highway, within the rain towards a staff that (shockingly) had even much less to play for than they did. Regardless of the Tennessee Titans’ lesser file, the do-or-die nature of their Week 18 sport in Jacksonville led them to take a seat a number of of their starters. In consequence, a 27-13 win wound up feeling much more perplexing than they’d favor — not that they are giving it again. “A win’s a win, any day of the week,” stated Dak Prescott.
The reasoning needs to be apparent, as a result of it is grow to be a well-known chorus. For starters, they proceed to battle with turnovers, a difficulty that’s changing into more durable to clarify — and apparently even more durable to cease.
It regarded precisely such as you’d count on from watching most different Cowboy video games. An ideal Dak Prescott cross was juggled and popped as much as the opposing protection for an interception. Moments later, a questionable Dak Prescott choice was picked off by All-Professional security Kevin Byard. “One was a drop, one was a minus decision,” echoed. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.
Throw in a botched snap, and the Cowboys managed three turnovers in a single quarter of soccer.
“I don’t like them,” McCarthy stated. “Unfortunately, you go through ups and downs in this league. Whether we don’t get any style points, that’s OK. We’re still at 12 wins.”
You’ll be able to’t argue with the outcome, even when the miscues present pause. For these conserving rating at house, Dallas has dedicated 12 turnovers within the final six video games. They’ve turned the ball over a number of instances in three of their final 4 video games. It is ironic to notice that their cleanest sport in that regard, final week’s 40-34 win towards Philadelphia, noticed Prescott throw a pick-six that put them into an early 10-0 gap.
Remarkably, the difficulty nonetheless hasn’t damage them as a lot as you may count on. True, turnovers performed a giant function in highway losses to Inexperienced Bay and Jacksonville. And but, the Cowboys have solely been held beneath 27 factors as soon as since Prescott’s return. They’re averaging 35 factors per sport over the course of the final 10, and so they’re 8-2 over that very same stretch.
It bore out once more on Thursday evening, as they rebounded from that sloppy second quarter to outscore the Titans 17-7 down the stretch.
“This is a resilient team,” Prescott stated. “Coach McCarthy made that our mantra at the beginning of the year. Honestly, just taking on pain we had from last year and using that to move forward this year.”
Does any of that make you, the discerning fan, really feel higher? Seemingly not. These kinds of miscues are sometimes magnified within the postseason, and it is laborious to think about them beating an NFC contender with that fashion of play.
Then, there’s the harm issue. The Cowboys appeared to flee this night with little in the way in which of true issues, however essentially the most notable lack of the evening might have severe ramifications. Tyler Biadasz left the sport late within the third quarter with an obvious ankle harm. The challenge compelled some severe line shuffling, as Connor McGovern moved from left guard to middle, with Jason Peters coming into the sport at left deal with and Tyler Smith shifting to left guard.
Thankfully, the Cowboys discover themselves in an advantageous state of affairs. Whereas there may be nonetheless slim hope of stealing the division title from Philadelphia, the Cowboys’ Week 18 sport in Washington is hardly a do-or-die situation, on condition that their playoff spot is safe. Nonetheless, with this group’s defensive losses displaying themselves on a weekly foundation, it is disconcerting to think about going up towards a playoff cross rush with an offensive line that is not as wholesome as attainable. At this level, it is price remembering that the Cowboys put up 361 yards, 27 factors and transformed 62% of their third downs towards a staff that simply may win the AFC South subsequent weekend.
That is the bemusing conundrum the Cowboys discover themselves in. Thursday evening’s highway win boosted their file to 12-4. They have now achieved consecutive 12-win seasons for the primary time since 1994-95, once they had been the unquestioned lords of the game.
On the identical time, final yr’s 12-win season evaporated into skinny air within the first spherical of the playoffs. As a franchise, they haven’t strung collectively a real playoff run since that 1995 season — a indisputable fact that gnaws away on the thoughts after any intercepted throw or twisted ankle. Is it honest? In all probability not. That does not make it any much less true, and that does not imply it can change till the Cowboys make it occur. It is simply one other a part of the attraction of enjoying for America’s Group — a problem Prescott and his teammates know all too properly and may as properly embrace.
“When you play for this organization, there’s a lot of noise and a lot of things around that really don’t matter when it comes to winning football games,” Prescott stated. “So the brotherhood and the culture that we’ve built is something we have to lean on, something we have to dial into and double down. I think that’s what’s going to allow us to make this run.”
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David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons overlaying the Cowboys for the staff’s official web site. In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his function in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Observe him on Twitter @davidhelman_.
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