The Dallas Cowboys lost their week 7 matchup to the Washington Football Team by a score of 25-3. The Cowboys struggled as a unit and it showed on the scoreboard.
The Cowboys are now 2-5 on the season and third in the NFC East. After a brutal week 7 performance in the rain, the Cowboys don’t look like a playoff team at all. Here are some key takeaways from their week 7 matchup.
[Related: Last Minute Fantasy Football Adds for Week 7]
Andy Dalton isn’t the Problem
This might come as a surprise, but Andy Dalton is not the major problem in the Cowboys’ offense.
Did Dalton miss some throws against Washington? Yes, but his offensive line did not help him out whatsoever.
With five offensive linemen out for the Cowboys against Washington, it showed exceedingly against the physical Washington defensive line. The Cowboys gave up six sacks in the game against Washington.
Dalton was constantly under pressure throughout the game. He was sacked three times including a strip-sack fumble that resulted in a saftey. When backup quarterback, Ben DiNucci, came in, he was also sacked three times in just a little over one quarter of playing time.
Looking back at the past 2.5 games that Dalton has played, he has been under pressure almost more than any quarterback in the league.
In the past three games for the Cowboys, Dallas’ quarterbacks have been sacked an average of 3.7 times per game. This currently puts them at 28th in the NFL.
The offensive line has to be better and protect their quarterback or else the Cowboys will not only have the worst defense in the NFL but also the worst offensive line unit.
The Cowboys Can’t Stop the Run
With an extremely talented defensive line and linebacker core, the Cowboys should be able to stop the run.
However, that is not the case and the Cowboys are the worst team in the NFL against the run. They currently give up 178.3 rush yards per game to opponents. They also rank last in the league in rush yards against in the last three games (186). This is 25 yards more than any other team in the NFL.
Dallas allowed rookie, Antonio Gibson, to run for over 100 yards. This was his first 100-yard performance all year long, his previous career-high was 55 yards.
Gibson, who was a receiver in college, doesn’t have much running back experience. Nonetheless, that didn’t matter much as he ran for 128 yards and a touchdown averaging 6.4 yards per carry.
The Cowboys allowed a total of 208 rush yards to Washington in week 7. Washington averaged 5.33 yards per carry and looked dominant on the ground.
Before week 7, Washington ranked dead last in rush yards per game (82.2). This was a team that was struggling to run the ball efficiently. From week 4 to week 6, they averaged 64.3 rush yards per game.
Now fast forward to week 7, they capped off an extraordinary 208 rushing yard performance, their best this season.
For the Cowboys, they have to be better against the run. However, it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.
The Cowboys Show No Team Loyalty
In the middle of the third quarter, Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for six yards. Unfortunately, as he was sliding down, giving himself up, Washington’s linebacker Jon Bostic illegally hit Dalton in the head.
However, the thing that really irked head coach Mike McCarthy was the fact that no Cowboys player retaliated.
“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another,” said McCarthy. “It definitely was not the response you would expect.”
Not one Cowboys player got into Bostic’s face after the play. Their starting quarterback was just hit illegally and not one player protected him.
“Get knocked out, lay on the ground and no one comes to his defense. I just, I don’t understand it. look at the culture of this team, and they’re soft. I mean, you see all those linemen – nobody says anything to Bostic. How could you allow your quarterback to get his head knocked off and no one comes to his defense? But it speaks to the culture. It speaks to the selfishness of the Cowboys. And the Cowboys flat out quit today,” said former NFL safety and sports analyst Rodney Harrison.
We have seen it plenty of times in the NFL where players stick up for their quarterback.
One similar moment shown in the video is in 2017 when Joe Flacco scrambles and is illegally hit by Kiko Alonso. Immediately after, Flacco’s offensive linemen get into it with Alonso, pushing and shoving him to the ground.
Violence isn’t the answer, but Dallas should have stuck up for Dalton.
This shows just how the Cowboys players are only in this for themselves. If they truly cared about each other, someone on the Cowboys would have fought back for Dalton.
Featured Image Courtesy of Bleacher Report