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We are handing out the report card for the Cowboys in all phases of the game.
The Dallas Cowboys have a record of 6-3 after their loss this past week to the Green Bay Packers. Coming into the matchup, given where the teams stood before kickoff, it appeared that the Cowboys would have the upper hand. Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers had another plan in mind. It wasn’t the typical Rodgers game we’ve come to expect from the future Hall of Famer, but he found a way to win nonetheless.
The Packers offense featured a heavy dose on the ground with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon along with Rodgers throwing the ball deep from time to time. Rodgers only threw 20 passes all game long as compared to the 37 carries from the two-headed monster of Jones and Dillon. Green Bay’s coaching staff knew the weakness of the Cowboys defense and exploited it by hammering the ball at a poor run defense. The Packers would throw the ball enough to keep Dallas’ defense on their toes and were quite efficient in the process. This game plan from Green Bay played out very effectively and resulted in a 31-28 victory over America’s Team.
Given the loss for the Cowboys, the end result wasn’t what most had expected and the grades this week will reflect a lackluster team result from Dallas.
An inefficient offensive performance proved to be costly
Believe it or not, from a statistical perspective, the Cowboys offense outperformed their counterparts. Unfortunately, Dallas played very inefficiently which caused their overall effectiveness to linger. Dak Prescott threw the ball 46 times and completed just under 59 percent of those passes. He did have three touchdowns in the air, but had two interceptions to Packers safety Rudy Ford. Both interceptions were greatly affected by poor route-running from Dalton Schultz and CeeDee Lamb. It ended up costing Dallas 14 points during the game.
Running back Tony Pollard did well once again filling in for Ezekiel Elliott who sat for another game due to a knee injury. Pollard tallied 115 yards on 22 carries for an average of 5.2 yards a tote and also scored a touchdown as well. In limited action, undrafted rookie Malik Davis performed well. Davis, had five carries for 38 yards and did a standup job in pass protection when called upon.
Of the 27 completions by Prescott, 11 of those were reeled in by CeeDee Lamb, who was fulfilling his promise as a WR1 in the NFL. In addition to the grabs, Lamb also tallied 150 yards with two touchdowns. A very nice outing for CeeDee, who gave the Cowboys their first 100 yard receiver in 2022. But, the route-running mistake on the interception needs to be worked out with Prescott for future games.
Regardless of the quality play from guys like Pollard and Lamb, Dak Prescott didn’t have a great game game. He took a step back and did not look the part as a franchise quarterback in Week 10. Hopefully this game will help Prescott going forward, as the franchise hopes of a deep playoff run depend on consistent quality play from their quarterback.
The defense is trending in the wrong direction at the moment and needs to get back on course in a hurry
After Week 10, the Cowboys defense looks as vulnerable as it has all season when a wounded 3-6 Packers squad dominated in all facets of their offense. Aaron Rodgers only threw for 224 yards, but he had three touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also completed 70% of his passes as well.
The ground game for Green Bay rarely had issues against this Cowboys defense, and the duo of Jones and Dillon combined for 203 yards. This 203 yards gained averaged out to over five yards a carry. It seemed like on just about every hand off that the Packers were going to pick up good chunks, and on an per average basis, certainly did that.
The pass defense looked very shaky, and allowed rookie wide receiver Christian Watson to have a breakout performance. Watson caught four passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns. This type of performance from Watson could bode well for the Packers as the season progresses. The injury to Anthony Brown, along with Jourdan Lewis already being out, tested the Cowboys depth at corner. It didn’t hold up, especially for rookie DaRon Bland who had a very tough day.
The Packers rarely allowed the stout pass rush of the Cowboys to wreck the game. The Cowboys did have one strip sack on Rodgers, which ended up being a turnover. However, aside from that Dallas only had one more sack all game. Credit to the Packers coaching staff for not allowing the Cowboys pass rush to wreck the game.
Consistency from special teams has been a continued unexpected surprise this season
The special teams group seemed to be the most consistent group this past Sunday. Cowboys kicker Brett Maher was limited to extra points, but made all four of them. KaVontae Turpin once again provided a nice spark when he tallied a return of 36 yards. The star on special teams this week does have to go to punter Bryan Anger. Anger really helped change field position in a positive manner. On multiple occasions, Green Bay looked like they were about to have starting field position on the plus side of the 50. Given what Anger had done this week, it was no surprise that he averaged over 49 yards a boot. Out of his five punts, three of them would land inside the 20. Anger did his job and was one of the better performers for the Cowboys in Week 10.
Originally posted on Blogging The Boys