The Cowboys are now 6-7 on the season after losing to the Bears. Dallas is still in control of the NFC East. Here are five things learned from week 14.
1. Jerry Jones has Reached His Boiling Point
For the most part this season, Jerry Jones has kept the faith in his team and the coaching staff. He has seemed to keep his calm in the media despite the team’s play. That all changed on Friday morning when he reacted poorly to a question on whether he was embarrassed by the team. He cursed and had to be taken off the air.
It has been a long season, but the fact that the Cowboys can’t beat a team who is .500 is clearly eating at Jones. That likely means changes are coming. Jason Garrett may not be fired yet, but that is likely coming if the Cowboys don’t go on a run.
2. Brett Maher Needs to Go
After the game against the Bills, there was a similar sentiment to this. Maher had not kicked well all season and it was costing the team. That continued into this week as Maher missed another field goal. To make things worse, he said after the game that he felt he hit every ball really well.
The poor performance against the Bears means that Maher has 10 missed field goals on the season, which is the most missed kicks by anyone in the NFL. If he makes even half of those kicks, there could be a different conversation, but he continues to miss kicks.
3. The Scripted Plays Work
The Cowboys had a great drive to start the game. It went 17 plays and the Cowboys came up clutch on several big plays. They finally punched it in for a touchdown after killing over half of the first quarter. Things looked great, but after that things fell apart.
After that opening drive, the Cowboys didn’t score again until the fourth quarter. Drives were stalling after passes were dropped and third down conversions failed. If the scripted plays to start the game are working like they did in this game, it shouldn’t be too hard to score a few points in the second and third quarter and the scripted plays are up.
4. Too Many Tackles Were Missed
A lot of credit should be given to the Bears, who had one of their best offensive games of the season. Even with the credit that the Bears deserve, the Cowboys let this game slip through their fingers by missing so many tackles. It happened all game long.
If a few more tackles had been made it could’ve been a completely different game. For a team who thought they had a solid defense coming into the season, things have certainly hit the fan. They need to tackle better if they want to win the NFC East.
5. Penalties Need to be Cut Down
Dallas had six penalties for 52 yards in this game. That may not sound like a lot, but in the flow of the game, it cost the Cowboys dearly. They picked up penalties in key situations that stopped them from getting the Bears off the field. Chicago was able to extend drives and eventually score because of penalties.
At the heart of things, it looks like the team is very undisciplined. They aren’t doing the fundamentals well and it looked like they quit. As mentioned before, this could be the time to change leadership and find someone who can correct these problems.