The Cowboys are now 5-4 on the season after losing the Minnesota Vikings. Dallas is in control of the NFC East. Here are five things learned from week 10.
1. Playcalling is so Inconsistent
I am so unbelievable livid with the coaching staff.
Come out flat (again).
Run on 1st and 2nd long with little to no success (again)
Dak Prescott balls out and you take the ball out of his hands for no reason inside the red zone.
A complete and utter failure.
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) November 11, 2019
Usually, coaches in the NFL are regarded as good or bad playcallers. The Cowboys, however, are so inconsistent with their playcalling that they shouldn’t be regarded as one or the other. They win games win they change things up and don’t run on first downs all the time. The Cowboys also win games when they run a decent amount of play action.
The problems with playcalling weren’t just broad though, it was also a situational problem. At the end of the game against the Vikings, the Cowboys continued to run the ball when they needed a key first down. Then they ran a pass play for their running back, who is not known as a big receiving threat. The game was within reach and the playcalling didn’t help the team.
2. Dak is Not to Blame for the Loss
Dak Prescott gets a lot of hate. Most Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks do, but he is also up for a contract, which makes things intensify. Against the Vikings, Prescott had a great game, but it resulted in a loss, which means people will blame the quarterback. That shouldn’t be the case though, as Prescott made several great throws.
He finished the game 28/46 passing for 397 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. In a big game, against a coach who is known for his defense, that isn’t something to blink at. In the future, the Cowboys need to put the ball in Prescott’s hands in crunch time, especially with the run game struggling.
3. The Amari Cooper Trade was Great
When Amari Cooper was traded to the Cowboys, there were some questions on whether it was worth it. He was struggling in Oakland and had problems with drops. The Cowboys decided to trade a first-rounder for Cooper anyways and he has been awesome since. Last season, he ended the year strong. This year is going even better.
Cooper finished the game against the Vikings with 11 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he has 53 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns. Cowboys fans likely already knew the Cowboys got a good deal, but Cooper is playing better than anyone could’ve expected.
4. The Pass Rush was Awful
After playing well the last few weeks, the pass rush was awful against the Vikings. They registered just one sack, which is low given that Kirk Cousins dropped back to pass 32 times in the game. This all comes as a surprise as the Vikings do not have a great offensive line. A better pass rush could’ve helped turn the tide for the Cowboys.
Robert Quinn got the only sack of the night against Minnesota. With so many talented pass rushers, including DeMarcus Lawrence and Michael Bennett, they needed to get to the quarterback. When they do that they win games, when they don’t, they lose.
5. More Turnovers Need to be Forced
It was another game with no turnovers forced for the Cowboys. They don’t necessarily have to win the turnover battle, but they do need to force more turnovers. Their defense is talented enough that they should be able to force at least one turnover a game. They’ll have to if they want to advance in the playoffs.
The Cowboys were playing a quarterback that struggles in primetime games against good teams. They should have been able to force him into a mistake. Down the road, the Cowboys have to find a way to be more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball.