Though the Cowboys were in fact well aware, they got a harsh reminder of what happens when you’re missing 4 of your best players in the 27-7 meltdown at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons. We already knew and were prepared for life without Ezekiel Elliott and Dan Bailey, but Tyron Smith being a late week scratch, and an early exit from Sean Lee will ail the Cowboys against most opponents.
Here’s a few thoughts after 24 hours later:
No Sean Lee, No Hope
As everyone’s favorite journalist Skip Bayless has mentioned endlessly, no Sean Lee, no hope. Once again without their All-Pro linebacker on defense, the unit looked lost again. Even with Falcons star back Devonta Freeman leaving early with a concussion, the moment Lee left, the Cowboys couldn’t stop a nose bleed. The pass rush was able to generate pressure here and there, but the entire unit behind them was a mess. Missed tackles and assignments everywhere. If Lee misses an extended period of time, regardless of how the offense plays their playoff hopes could be doomed.
Tyron Smith could be more valuable than Zeke
The absence of the best left tackle in football was felt in more than just the running game. Smith’s replacement, Chaz Green, made Adrian Clayborn look like Lawrence Taylor for the Falcon rushing the passer. Clayborn finished two sacks away from the single-game sack, record recording five on his own. He had two entering Sunday. Green got beat cleanly on just about every play, which sent Dak Prescott running for his life far too often. The Cowboys also didn’t run the ball to the left side once in the game. Defensive lines will continue to tee off if Smith remains sidelined.
Don’t look now Cowboys’ Nation, but up next for Dallas is the scorching hot Philadelphia Eagles and that high flying offense Sunday night at JerryWorld. If the Boys’ play like they did in Atlanta the blowout will be even uglier. They can also kiss any hopes of a division title away, and their overall playoff chances will get slimmer very quickly. Yeah, they’ll have a full week of preparation this time around, but I won’t be getting my hopes up.
Just a week ago we were discussing the Cowboys possibly being a threat to the Eagles. Pretty crazy how football works.