Before the 2019 football season, the Dallas Cowboys knew Week 4 was the first test. After playing three weak teams and handling them, the Cowboys rolled into New Orleans at 3-0. Everyone that isn’t a Cowboys fan was surely doubting them, and diehards were hungry for the 4-0 start. Ultimately, that didn’t come to fruition, as the Cowboys offense stumbled and stumbled hard on Sunday night in the Dome. What went wrong? Here are three factors that led to the Dallas Cowboys first loss of the season.
What Went Wrong in Dallas Cowboys First Loss
Lack of a Run Game
Now you might say, “hey, the Cowboys ran the ball 20 times! They did have a run game!” The fact of the matter is, Dallas had 20 carries for 45 yards. FORTY-FIVE. Ezekiel Elliott rightfully had 90% of the carries, 18 rushes for 35 yards, which comes out to a meager 1.9 YPC. Tony Pollard, the rookie running back out of Memphis, didn’t have a single touch. Coming off a week against the Dolphins where he had over 100 yards rushing, he wasn’t involved. The only play that involved Pollard was a pass that resulted in a defensive holding. For a team that has averaged well over 100 yards rushing per game, that needed to be better against a contender like New Orleans. It’s no surprise that the first Cowboys loss of the year came with such an inefficient rushing attack.
The story of this game was also the number of turnovers, sans an interception at the end of the game by Dak Prescott the Cowboys had two other major turnovers that killed them. Early in the game, they had a blown coverage on Michael Thomas that led to a first down. Later, Jason Witten, the future Hall of Famer, fumbled in Saints territory after making a huge catch. That drive was immediately stalled when it looked like the Cowboys were finally starting to roll. The very next drive, they attempted to convert a 4th and 1. It looked like they converted, but apparently Elliott fumbled and the Saints stifled another drive. Although they were in this game, the Cowboys shot themselves in the foot one too many times.
Michael Gallup is still dealing with a minor knee procedure that has kept him out. Obviously, Dallas is itching for him to come back because it is apparent he is needed. Against really good teams and possible contenders, Gallup offers another deep threat. That skill was on showcase against the Giants where he shredded their defense. Dallas would surely love to get him back as the schedule doesn’t ease up at all. The next five weeks, ignoring the Week 8 bye, offer three tough games against the Packers, Eagles, and Vikings. The Jets and Giants offer little resistance, but Daniel Jones will get his shot against Dallas in Week 9. Dallas would love to have Gallup for the games against Green Bay, Philly, and Minnesota, and they will monitor him closely this week to see if he can return.
All in all, the Dallas Cowboys are still 3-1 on the season and sitting atop the NFC East. They will have to regroup as they head home to face the Green Bay Packers in week 5. Hopefully, Kellen Moore can get the Boys back on track and looking like the offense we all saw in weeks 1-3. Dak Prescott and the Boys don’t like losing all that much. Look for them to explode in Week 5.
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