Grading the Cowboys: Defense deserves credit, but special teams fail Dallas yet again

bbgun

Administrator


By Jean-Jacques Taylor
8:03 PM on Nov 24, 2019
Jean-Jacques Taylor’s grades from the Cowboys’ 13-9 loss to the New England Patriots...

Running offense
Ezekiel Elliott ran hard and ran well, but the Cowboys couldn’t sustain enough drives to feed him the ball. He had 86 yards, eclipsing his total from each of the previous two games. He had runs of 7,7, 8, 10 & 12, but hasn’t had a run of more than 20 yards since Week 2. Elliott just didn’t get enough opportunities, even though he carried the ball 21 times. GRADE: C

Passing offense
The passing game did nothing much of the game. Prescott, who finished 19 of 33 for 212 yards and an interception, had good protection much of the day but the combination of the awful weather -- cold and rain -- and New England’s defense shut down the Cowboys vaunted big-play passing game. Prescott had just two completions of 20 yards or more. Amari Cooper had zero catches for the fourth time in his career and the first time with the Cowboys. They needed more. GRADE: F

Run defense
It was awful early, and then it solidified behind defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and linebacker Jaylon Smith. Sony Michel had 44 yards on his first five carries and finished with 85 on 20 carries. Michel averaged 3.3 per carry on 154 carries, entering Sunday’s game. GRADE: B

Pass defense
Tom Brady was pressured much of the game -- the Cowboys sacked him twice and hit him numerous times. Brady never looked comfortable, but he still managed to complete four passes of more than 20 yards, including two to Jakobi Meyers. The Cowboys limited him to 190 yards and a touchdown. GRADE: B

Special teams
The Cowboys yielded a blocked punt in the first quarter that set up New England’s first touchdown. Brett Maher banged a field goal attempt off the left upright in the first quarter and a special teams penalty at the end of the third quarter cost the Cowboys nearly 20 yards in field position. Pollard misplayed another kickoff. Another raggedy performance from a poor unit all season. GRADE: F

Coaching
This team has been plagued by little mistakes all season -- and that was the case again Sunday against New England. The first-quarter blocked punt was a killer. Play-caller Kellen Moore, like a lot of coaches, had no answers when it came to penetrating New England’s defense once the Cowboys moved into the red zone. The coaching staff didn’t make enough of a difference.

GRADE: C-minus

Overall

The Cowboys did what they’ve done all year -- they made enough small mistakes to lose the game. New England has won 21 consecutive home games and they held a significant coaching advantage. The Cowboys lost this game on special teams. Look at the bright side, they’re still leading the NFC East by one game. GRADE: C
 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
Special teams
The Cowboys yielded a blocked punt in the first quarter that set up New England’s first touchdown. Brett Maher banged a field goal attempt off the left upright in the first quarter and a special teams penalty at the end of the third quarter cost the Cowboys nearly 20 yards in field position. Pollard misplayed another kickoff. Another raggedy performance from a poor unit all season. GRADE: F
Nobody's mentioning the fucking 20 yards we gave up because we didn't know what to do when the opponent has nobody back to receive the punt.
 

cmd34

Pro Bowler
Coaching weaknesses are so glaring.

It's at a point now that when friends, co-workers, other coaches, etc. make excuses for Garrett, I no longer value a single football opinion from them. If you can't see that coaching is an issue on this team, you simply do not know football.
 

kwcoolk619

Cheerleader
Coaching weaknesses are so glaring.

It's at a point now that when friends, co-workers, other coaches, etc. make excuses for Garrett, I no longer value a single football opinion from them. If you can't see that coaching is an issue on this team, you simply do not know football.
I'm puzzled by the Garrett apologists.
 

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