Cowboys

4 Takeaways from the First Quarter of the Dallas Cowboys Season

  • Dak Prescott
  • dallas cowboys
  • jaylon smith
  • La'el Collins
  • Mike McCarthy
  • Tyron Smith
  • Zack Martin
By Campbell Keating October 8, 2020 0 Comment
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The Cowboys are off to a poor start this season at 1-3 and third in the NFC East. What can be deduced from this first quarter of the season?

The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in third place in the NFC East after four games, but they have the same record as the Washington Football Team (1-3) who sit in second as they are 1-0 in the division. Philadelphia sits atop the East with a record of 1-2-1. With a Cowboys win this weekend over the New York Giants (0-4) and a Philadelphia Eagles loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0), Dallas could find themselves in first very soon. But the most important question for Cowboys fans is why are the Cowboys, with all their offensive talent, 1-3?

1. Terrible Defense

Whether it has been a pure lack of talent on the back end, the front not living up to expectations, or terrible linebacker play (Looking at you, Jaylon Smith); the defense has been atrocious. The Cowboys have given up an average of 36.5 points this season, with 38 or more in each of the last three games. The three game stretch marks only the second time in Cowboys’ history that such a feat has been accomplished. The only other time was their first season in existence.

The 2020 Cowboys defense is certainly one of the worst in franchise history four weeks in, and there’s not much hope it will be fixed this season. Stephen Jones has stated that it’s not about talent but about playing better, so don’t expect any free agent signings anytime soon.

2. Offensive Line Injuries are Hurting the Team

What has been the strength of the Cowboys for so long, seems to be the offense’s weakness so far this year. The offense has rolled out with a multitude of combinations on the line, including one with Zack Martin at right tackle. Tyron Smith dealt with an injury, which has become the new usual, and other tackle La’el Collins now out for the season after undergoing surgery. Opposing pass rushes have lived in the backfield, for the most recent example, see Myles Garrett‘s film from this past Sunday. Dak Prescott has handled the pressure well, but he seems to be pressured on nearly every play.

3. Dak Prescott is Proving Himself yet Again

Through four games, Prescott has thrown for 450+ yards 3 times, tying the NFL season record, and has broken the NFL record for most passing yards in a three game stretch. He has 1690 yards on the season, posting a passer rating of 102.62, one of the highest in the league. Not to mention his nine passing touchdowns to 3 interceptions, paired with three more touchdowns on the ground. He is keeping the Cowboys in games that they should not have a chance in (see week two vs the Atlanta Falcons). The front office should have paid him last off-season, maybe over a certain linebacker that got paid and is underperforming(*cough, cough* Jaylon Smith). The Cowboys can just hope that Dak doesn’t test free agency this off-season and resigns with the team.

4. The Jury is Still Out on Mike McCarthy

Despite what many Cowboys fans have been saying, this is not all on Mike McCarthy. For one, he has a roster full of the past regime’s talent. The defense is sorely lacking, but that is partly due to the lack of draft capital invested in it in the past decade. Secondly, though the offense has been playing well overall, they have made some mistakes that resulted in turnovers. They have coughed up three interceptions and five fumbles. But the most obvious thing is that a four game stretch is not enough to evaluate a coach.

Though the Cowboys are off to a bad start, there is still hope that the team will show some signs of promise this season. McCarthy’s first season with Green Bay Packers started 4-8 and ended 8-8. There is hope that in the next 12 games, the Cowboys can do better. Who knows, they might even make the playoffs in this division.

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I cover, report, and write about the Dallas Cowboys. I am an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis studying on the premed track with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Anthropology.

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