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Opinion

The repetitive pain of being a Cowboys fan

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Roar Rookie
5th October, 2020
4

I swear it is Groundhog Day every Monday being a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Every game the Cowboys have basically self-destructed either on offence or on defence. This weekend against Cleveland it was both.

As the saying goes, do not get beat by what you know, and every football fan, analyst and media personality knows that the Browns are a run-first football team. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt they clearly have the best one-two punch in the NFL, and the Cowboys, to put it simply, were an absolute disgrace on the defensive side of the ball.

After the trick play in which Jarvis Landry threw a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham to put the Browns up by seven early in the first quarter, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offence was cooking. Prescott was spraying the ball all over the field and the Browns could not stop them. Going up 14-7 in the first quarter, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the Cowboys were on track to blow out Cleveland.

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They were well on their way until the usual destructive plays happened. The Browns were faced with a first and 20 after a holding penalty. Baker Mayfield threw a short pass for no more than five yards, which would have put them in a second and 15 and behind the chains but for a silly facemask penalty from Jaylon Smith. It kept the drive alive and the Browns marched all the way down to the end zone to make it 14-14.

Still, it was a good position for Dallas, with plenty of time and the offence humming. Confidence was high. Then came the Prescott fumble from Myles Garrett, and with the resulting turnover Cleveland punched it in to go up 21-14.

At this stage there was still no reason to panic, as the Cowboys got the ball again and the first play was a huge 24 yard run from Ezekiel Elliott all the way up to the Dallas 49-yard line and they were back, or so we thought. Elliott fumbled the ball on halfway and Cleveland recovered. As with the previous turnover, Mayfield took advantage, finding the end zone again to go up 28-14. The game had started to have a remarkably familiar feel to it.

With the next possession Dallas was forced to punt as the offence lost its rhythm. Cleveland went 71 yards in 13 plays to kick a field goal on the stroke of halftime to take a 31-14 lead into the main break, and they would get the ball to start the half too. The second quarter was ugly, Dallas outscored 24-0 by the Browns.

Coming out after halftime Dallas needed a stop, but they were an absolute shambles, allowing the Browns to go 65 yards in seven plays as they found the end zone to go up 38-14. For all money the game was effectively over. Well, it should have been.

After that Dallas had to get moving. Prescott has been in this position in every game and he had to throw his side out of a tough spot yet again. Boy did he do it. Back-to-back touchdowns with two-point conversions got Dallas back to a three-point deficit. With a little over four minutes remaining and a timeout still in their pocket, the Cowboys were on track for another remarkable comeback.

However, the downfall for Dallas all year has been their defence and when they needed to make a stand one last time, as they had forced Cleveland to punt on their last two possessions, they laid an egg, allowing Odell Beckham to go on a 50-yard running touchdown run to ice the game with the first play of the drive.

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To rub salt into the wounds, Dallas blocked the resulting extra point only for Jaylon Smith to muff the recovery. The Browns collected the ball in the end zone for a two-point play to perfectly sum up how bad of a day the defence had.

To sum up how bad the Dallas defence was, they gave up a monster 307 rushing yards – 95 yards to D’Ernest Johnson, 73 to Odell Beckham, 71 to Kareem Hunt and 43 to Nick Chubb as they forced it down the throat of the Cowboys horrible defence.

As usual Dallas had more pass yards and more total yards than their opponents but again came up short to go to 1-3 on their season. Prescott threw for a mammoth 502 yards and four touchdowns with one intercept, but he was playing catch up from halfway through the second quarter.

Rob Marinelli and Kris Richard would have been sitting back chuckling at what they were witnessing, as would have the entire NFL. It was embarrassing. After another performance like this, changes are going to have to be made, whether they be on the sideline with coaches or, as many have suggested, some much-needed defensive help, with Earl Thomas still sitting on the couch as a free agent.

At this point Dallas must bite the bullet and go for the safety. Some college teams would be able to run over this defence. It needs fixing and quick. Luckily they are in a horrible division, and if the Eagles lose to the 49ers later today, they will still be in first-placed in the NFC East, so all is not lost.

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Dallas has hit a new low today, and surely Jerry Jones cannot sit on his hands any longer. He is wasting great quarterback play by Prescott simply because his defence can not stop a toddler after today’s effort. They need to get some defensive help, otherwise their season will be over before it even has a chance to get going.

At this stage of the season and after a performance like that, adding Earl Thomas to the roster is simply the minimum requirement from now on as the team cannot go on like this anymore. Step up, Jerry, and make the tough decisions.

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