The Cowboys are now 7-8 on the season after losing to the Eagles. Dallas still has a chance to make the playoffs, but need some help. Here are five things learned from week 16.
1. The Playoffs Likely Aren’t Happening
Coming into the week, the Cowboys controlled their own destiny for making the playoffs. If they defeated the Eagles, they would have clinched the NFC East. Unfortunately, the team didn’t have what it takes and lost 17-9.
Now the Cowboys need to win in week 17 and the Eagles need to lose for the Cowboys to win the NFC East. The Cowboys should be able to take care of the Redskins, but the Eagles won’t likely lose to the Giants. Not making the playoffs will have other repercussions as well.
2. Jason Garrett Will be Fired
After it being rumored for a lot of the season, if the Cowboys don’t pull off a miracle and make the playoffs, Jason Garrett will be fired. With a talented roster and everything in front of them, the Cowboys were unable to get the job done.
Garrett has an 84-67 record in his 10 years with the Cowboys, which isn’t too bad, but he has failed to take them far in the playoffs. Dallas hasn’t made the NFC Championship in his 10 years as coach even with the enormous amount of talent on the roster. This season will likely be the last straw.
3. Dak’s Injury Was Too Much
Dak Prescott came into this week with an injured shoulder. It was noble of him to try and battle it out for the team and win the game, but he and the team came up short. Prescott missed receivers often in this game and finished 25 of 44 passing.
Injuries are part of the game that every team has to deal with, but the Cowboys have been hit with them at the wrong time. Connor Williams was lost for the season, Leighton Vander Esch has been out with his neck injury and Amari Cooper has been struggling with injuries as well. Prescott’s injury was just the icing on the cake for a disappointing season.
4. Ezekiel Elliot Needs to be Utilized
It was smart of the Cowboys to try and attack the Eagles’ secondary, because they have struggled this season. When Prescott was off, the Cowboys should’ve been able to turn to their franchise running back. Elliot finished the game with 13 carries.
The Cowboys were losing for most of the game, but they shouldn’t have abandoned the run that much. Elliot only averaged 3.6 yards per carry, but if the Cowboys were confident enough to give him all that money in the offseason, they should’ve been confident enough to give him more chances in this game. He did have seven receptions, but he isn’t the best receiving back.
5. Michael Gallup is Blossoming
Michael Gallup has been impressive this season and proved it against the Eagles. He finished the game with five receptions for 98 yards. It wasn’t that he just put up numbers, he also made some highlight-reel catches, one of which put the Cowboys deep in the Eagles’ territory.
Following the game against the Eagles, Gallup has 61 catches for 1,009 yards and three touchdowns. While the touchdown number is a little low, getting to 1,000 yards is a huge step in his development.