From the “get go”, the Denver Broncos pushed the Cowboys down and forced them to mine for nuggets, and not of the Golden variety. Sunday afternoon the Dallas Cowboys won the coin toss and decided to take the ball first, it was to be their first of an avalanche of mistakes that failed to turn up any gold nuggets.
The Good news
Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to attempt more than 500 passes with less than 5 interceptions.
Jason Witten became the man to don the Dallas Star for the longest of any player to have ever played for the Cowboys.
He tied Michael Irvin in Touchdown Receptions. Meanwhile, he was the man to catch Dak’s 500th pass.
DeMarcus Lawrence was a terror, recording two sacks and forcing several quarterback hurries during the game. DeMarcus has four sacks in two games.
Dan Bailey and Chris Jones did their respective jobs, as usual.
The Real Story
The Cowboys seemed to all suffer from Jet-lag. It was not the Cowboys we witnessed against the New York Giants.
The offense came out sluggish and their first possession was a three and out. So was their second possession.
After passing for over five hundred attempts with less than 5 picks, Dak recorded his first interception of the season when Dez Bryant had the ball travel right through his two hands and directly to the Denver defense.
Brice Butler had a drop.
Jason Witten followed that up late in the game by dropping a pass in the end zone, even though the game was lost at that point.
The defense came out searching desperately for some silver lining or even perhaps a couple of golden nuggets.
The found a silver lining with DeMarcus Lawrence getting back to the playmaker we have all wished for and envisioned him becoming.
Other than the one sack, by Stephen Paea, the interior defensive line struggled to maintain their lanes. They were ineffective at putting any pressure on Trevor Siemian. They played their worst game against the run in over a year. Tyrone Crawford has yet to be a force.
Poor tackling and bad footing resulted in some big plays. Nolan Carroll was burned for a 25 and a 27 yard play. That is when the game momentum began to favored the home team.
When Chidobe Awuzie went down early with a hamstring issue, I knew we would be in trouble. I really don’t think Nolan Carroll is starting material. Siemian attacked him early and often. Carroll left after suffering two head injuries and did not return.
Anthony Brown was another one of the nuggets they found last season. Brown and Jeff Heath stepped up, unfortunately no one else really did.
Jourdan Lewis was thrown into the fire for his first real NFL experience. He was far from technique perfect, was out of position and he whiffed on a couple of potential tackles. It was a learning experience, hopefully a valuable one that shall inspire him not to neglect his pregame preparations.
The offensive line played below par, too. They did not push the Broncos around, as they usually do against defenses, and they allowed way too much contact with Dak. They failed to open any huge running lanes – killing our running game.
Scott Linehan needs to stop being so damn generic with all these offensive weapons. Keep the defense off guard. Throw deep a time or two, early on. How about using a time-out to tell this team to turn it up or be replaced. The Denver defense out-witted Linehan and had him chewing his own share of horse nuggets.
This was a team loss. Hang your heads all the way back to Frisco. Then, get prepared for next Monday Night Football with the Arizona Cardinals. We expect a better performance than what you all showed against the Broncos.