By Archie Nino III
In what accumulated into one of the worst season openers in recent memory. The Dallas Cowboys fell to 0-1 after falling on their face in Charlotte, N.C.
Call it what it is the offense coordinated by Scott Linehan and perennial "yes man" Jason Garrett have the Cowboys playing Atari while the rest of the NFL is on 4k resolution with Next-Gen systems. Prescott was mediocre yet again with a pedestrian stat line of 19-29 for 170 yds with no TDs or "chunk" plays to account for. Ezekiel Elliott didn't fair much better with 15 carries for 69yds and a TD. Wide receivers could not un cover themselves from a CAR secondary and a pass rush that had the Cowboys offensive line back pedaling into Precotts lap. Kawaan Short absolutely deflated rookie OL Connor Williams ultimately leading to Dak Prescott being sacked 6 times yet again. In 5 of the last 9 contests dating back to last season the Cowboys offense have failed to generate double-digit points.
Prescott and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will have to go back and figure out where it all went wrong. 3rd and long situations definitly played a part in the loss but more alarming is when Dallas did have opportunity to make a play Dak missed wide, he missed short, and he missed often. Quite predictable considering he hadn't played any reps in the final few wks of preseason where much needed chemistry building with the new receiving corps was needed. Instead they kept Dak and Zeke bubble wrapped and left them exposed vs Carolina. Ezekiel Elliott of all people should be absolutely livid as he carried the ball 15 times..15 times for the game, not a half. The strength of this team is the ability to RUN the football and set up play action fakes downfield and Zeke had been touching the ball up to 20+ times prior. 15 carries in a game that saw Zeke touch the ball 1 time during the final sequence has all eyes on Linehan and his inability to improvise and create mismatches. Let's not forget we had K Brett Maher come in and promptly make DAL regret letting Dan Bailey go after Maher shanks a 47yd attempt wide right. On the field DAL is certainly shaky but it's the coaching staff and upper management that flat-out is starting to cost them games.
Not to be a complete "negative Nancy" the Cowboys defense was absolutely amazing. Holding a former playoff team to 16pts and only 85 second half yards. Cam Newton was himself early and often and Dallas bit too many times on RPOs and QB keepers, often finding themselves collapsing the pocket and over-pursuing leading to plenty of missed tackles. DeMarcus Lawrence wreaked havoc up front and along with Maliek Collins they pressured almost at will when called upon. On the backend the secondary held up and didn't give up big plays over the top giving Dallas a fighting chance in a contest that ended up feeling like an 18pt loss as opposed to the 8 point game it was. Some more positives are when the Cowboys added their own mix of RPOs (run-pass options) they were continuously able to move the ball downfield but it most certainly was too little too late. Next Sunday Night the Cowboys have the chance to change the early narrative of their season by going up against the 0-1 New York Football Giants. Who are coming off their own problematic game that saw Jacksonville come in and win despite Odell Beckham Jr and Saquon Barkley putting up over 200 yds combined. Eli Manning is still struggling giving the Cowboys defense a chance to come in and even the season up at 1-1. Til next time #CowboysNation.
The writers here at Cowboys News plan to bring you entertainment, news, and more - all relating to the Dallas Cowboys.