The Dallas Cowboys offense showed signs of life in the second half but it wasn’t close to good enough. For a second-consecutive road trip the Cowboys could not get out of their own way in an ugly loss. Here are takeaways from the trip to Seattle:
Zeke’s frustrating day
Looking strictly at the box score it may seem like Ezekiel Elliott had a pretty nice day at the office. But it was far from that considering what was left on the table. He rushed for over 100 yards for the first time this season. But when you step out of bounds on a play that negates your own touchdown it’s going to be hard to feel good about your performance. Additionally Zeke dropped a catchable third down pass, missed a key block on a blitz which resulted in a sack, and then seemingly fumble any last hope for the Cowboys away after a big run in the 4th.
We could make the case that this was the most frustrating game for Zeke in his entire career thus far. He took ownership for the loss post game while reiterating he performed very poorly: “I’m very frustrated. Definitely my individual performance. As a leader on this team I’ve got to be better in those clutch moments, and that’s that.”
Dumb, youthful decisions
Just when it looked like the Cowboys had some life to crawl back into this one Randy Gregory took an inexcusable unnecessary roughness penalty. The dumb decision put the Seahawks into field goal range to end the first half and add to their lead. While it didn’t decide the outcome, it simply is not winning football. Dallas was already having a difficult time bringing down Russell Wilson in the back field, tallying just one sack on Sunday after recording 9 in the first two weeks. The last thing they needed was a penalty like this:
Good Riddance Earl Thomas
Of course, the main guy to wreck the Cowboys offensive game on Sunday was Earl Thomas. Who, if we’re being honest should probably be a Cowboy at this point already. Thomas recorded both of Dak Prescott’s interceptions, including the one to seal the deal late in the fourth quarter.
The All-Pro then proceeded to face the Dallas sideline and bow to them. He later explained that the bow was to signify that if Dallas was going to trade for and extend Earl, they should’ve done so. Thomas remains a great player and the rumors surrounding his name and the Cowboys only puts more salt in the wound after this. Thomas went even as far to mention that some of the Dallas coaches approached him pre-game asking if he was ready for the trade on Monday. We’re still trying to make sense of all of this too.
Passing and Play calling
It was another ugly day for the offense too. Dak Prescott looked lost most of the time again after we thought he may have figured it out last Sunday night against the Giants. The passing game as a whole just continues to be an absolute disaster. Dak’s first half numbers: 6 of 13 passing, 40 yards, no touchdowns, one interception, and a 21.3 passer rating.
To be fair, Dak didn’t throw the ball particularly well but at times he did and it went right through the receiver’s hands. You’ll be able to see the interceptions weren’t really all on him. It’s tough to say when thee Cowboys will get the passing game going but it doesn’t look like it’ll be soon at this point in the season.
Dak Prescott throws his 2nd INT to Earl Thomas.
And what happened to the quarterback running? A week after running the option so smoothly against the Giants, Dallas completely abandoned it for reasons we’re still searching for. Dak only carried twice for 21-yards and neither of those carries were designed runs. With Dak at quarterback Dallas is 9-2 in games he’s had five or more carries. The scheming and play calling just doesn’t add up again. Garrett and Linehan will take some serious heat this week, and rightfully so.
Sean Lee’s Status
Ian Rapoport broke the news on Monday that Sean Lee will miss at least a few weeks with a new hamstring injury. This not being the same hamstring Lee has battled with before. Lee didn’t play much of the second half but was balling with all the tackles in the first. Rookie first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch will more than likely serve as the starter in Lee’s absence.
Lee didn’t seem overly optimistic after the game and had treatment for the hamstring on Monday. He’s considered day-to-day right now but obviously that seems like a best-case scenario at this point. “We’ll see, same deal, but you never know,” Lee said. “Hopefully it will be a quick turnaround.”
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