It is and has been a tough season for the Cowboys football team and there fans to endure. From the Ezekiel Elliott drama, to the breakdown of Dan Bailey. We are covering several items that hurt our season, or just went plain wrong for our beloved football team.
*This is up to week 17
- The Ezekiel Elliott Suspension – This is a major one and will be a memorable one in Dallas Cowboys history. Fan’s across Cowboys Nation agree for the most part that the league had no case against Elliott. What most fans disagree on is whether Elliott should’ve fought or taken the suspension given to him. I for one stated from the beginning that the suspension could be reduced if appealed, it did not. I for one thought it was smart for Elliott to miss the games early, he did not. This decision will always be one seen as the biggest factor that swung the pendulum one way versus another.
- Sean Lee’s Injuries – You can’t really say this was something on Sean Lee. What we learned is that without him on the defensive side of the ball, we can’t do a thing. We can’t force turnovers, we can’t stop the run, we can’t stop the pass, we can’t do a thing.
- Dan Bailey’s Injury – Could this be the end for Dan? I don’t think so, not yet. The Cowboys lost Bailey to a groin injury against San Francisco and he was out 5 weeks. At that point Bailey was 100% on PATs and FG made. Once he came back from his injury, Bailey went 91% on PATs and 67% on FG made. My personal opinion is that the Cowboys brought Bailey back way too fast. With a full off season to rest, heal, and practice. I believe we will see the Dan Bailey of old.
- Scott Linehan’s Play Calling – One week after calling for a fake punt, the Cowboys decided not to try and run the football from inside the 5 yard line. Cowboys nation was and still is shocked by the crazy play calling all year. We get the ball control offensive idea, heck we get that we want to establish the run, but what we don’t get as fans is where is the calculated risk taking? Where are the flea flickers and reverses? Where are the screen passes?
- Completion Percentage to Dez Bryant – With a catch percentage of 53.2% we did get to see Bryant become a little more efficient compared to years past. What I do give Bryant credit for is the fight, not airing out too much frustration, and being a team guy. Another thing I wouldn’t blame Bryant on is his routes. Linehan did not try to use Bryant’s size and that isn’t Dez’s fault. What I do have a problem with is the number of targets that went his way. 27% of Dak Prescott’s attempts have gone to Bryant this year. That’s 40 targets more than Jason Witten and guess what, Witten has 61 receptions which is 5 less than Bryant…
- Offensive Line Depth- Yep, the great wall of Dallas part two hasn’t had a long run and that run could be over. After we saw Ronald Leary and Doug Free leave the team, several fans thought things would stay the same. Heck, people around the league even thought that since they have 3 pro bowlers 2 new additions wouldn’t hurt, well, they did. La’el Collins and Jonathan Cooper did not do as well as they needed to this year. Also, it might just be me but it seems as if Tyron Smith is breaking down fast. Anyhow, we saw what happened when this team lost 1-2 pieces from the front five. Depth will be key for this group in the off season. The team might want to start looking replacing Tyron as well, but maybe not yet…. Here is the breakdown for the O-line:
- 3rd in rushing yards
- 2nd in rushing touchdowns
- 23rd in sacks allowed
- 19th in quarterback hits
- Dak Not Running – Last year and this year this has been something fans want to see. If Dak makes more plays as a running quarterback, the Cowboys become very dangerous. This year Prescott did run for more yardage but currently he has attempted 2 less runs compared to last year. This is very critical and if Prescott would’ve incorporated this more while Elliott was gone, well, we could be speaking about a different topic at this point of the year.