Sat, 05 Dec 2020

Eatman: Hard To Find Silver Lining After This Game

Dallas Cowboys
20 Oct 2020, 19:24 GMT+10

ARLINGTON, Texas - You want the good news or bad news?

Hope you said bad news, because it's been about two hours since the game ended and I still haven't really found anything else.

Oh, maybe the fact this team is STILL in first place in the NFC East. Not even sure what to think of that, but I guess it's good news, knowing IF this team turns things around, it's certainly too late.

But that's the problem right there, it's hard to really hang your hat on something like that.

Nothing about this performance Monday night suggested anything remotely close to a first-place team. In fact, this didn't even look close to being an average team.

That's because after six games, these Cowboys are nothing close to the team we thought we'd see.

To be fair, the personnel is also nothing close to what we thought we'd see.

You can say "there are no excuses" but at some point, the injuries are just too much to overcome. And that's what is happening after the Cowboys lost Dak Prescott last week and then Zack Martin early in this game. Throw in Tyron Smith, La'el Collins and Blake Jarwin - and that's just on offense - and of course there are going to be problems.

But even with all that, 38-10 to the Cardinals on Monday Night Football is inexcusable.

Absolutely no excuses for a 28-point loss to Arizona - regardless who is playing quarterback, right tackle, or any other position.

I'm sorry to tell you, but the schedule gets tougher than the Cardinals and Kyler Murray. Sure, he's a good young quarterback who has a different dimension to his game. But this Arizona team lost to Detroit and the Panthers. It's not like they came into this game dominating the league.

Sadly, they dominated the Cowboys - badly.

Losing is one thing. Getting blown out is another. And then, to make it worse, getting dominated and just overpowered by a Cardinals team that actually prides themselves on being finesse and quick. And yet, that team still bullied the Cowboys around all night - and all three phases of the field.

Yes, you can make an argument for the defense. In the first quarter, the defense played its best of the season and was hanging in there with Murray, Hopkins and this bunch. Of course, once the turnover monster showed up, the defense backed down once again.

They do know it's not an NFL rule to allow touchdown just because your offense turned it over. But it's amazing that heading into this game - every single Cowboys turnover had led to points, or the end of the game. And on Monday night, the Cardinals turned their four takeaways into three touchdowns and a field goal.

Sure, the defense started out well, but by the end, they couldn't get off the field on key stops. They couldn't keep players like Christian Kirk from going 80 yards on a touchdown. And they certainly couldn't stop Kenyan Drake from rolling to a 69-yard touchdown at the end of the game when everyone knows they're just trying to run the ball up the middle. That might've been the most embarrassing part of the entire game.

On offense, it looked like the Varsity and the JV. And man, that's tough to write knowing that the Cowboys were playing the Cardinals. It's never supposed to look like that in an NFL game especially with these two franchises.

But Arizona's defense completely overwhelmed this undermanned offensive line.

All we heard about Andy Dalton this week was ... if you protect him, he can be really good.

Ok, so what happens if you don't? Well, we found out.

I thought Dalton was just OK. He didn't get much help with dropped passes and his star running back fumbling twice that led to touchdowns.

Did they miss Dak? Of course, they did. What Dak has shown this year is that no matter the score, he's going to continue to ball out and do whatever it takes to get the team back in the game.

The sad part, there doesn't seem to be other players on this roster who can pick up the slack in THAT area.

You know, the "put the team on my back" area and will the team into a comeback. There was none of that going on in this game.

What's even worse , is that there really isn't any help coming.

Dak is out for the season. Tyron Smith and La'el Collins - they're out as well. This offensive line will probably get Zack Martin back sooner than later, but there isn't a ton of help after that.

Defensively, can you get too excited about Chido Awuzie and Randy Gregory?

Sure, they're going to help but this team is pretty much what it's going to be.

And right now, it's not even close to good enough. Unless you're talking about the NFC East. Then again, you've only played one of those teams and needed a heroic effort to get that win.

Sorry, about that good news ... I'll have to get back to you on that.

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