The Dallas Cowboys fell to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon by a final score of 28-23. It was a hard-fought game to the end with both teams trading scores until the final whistle. Here are five takeaways from the Cowboys’ loss to the Eagles.
Five Takeaways From the Cowboys’ Loss to the Eagles
The Cowboys Miss Ezekiel Elliott
So far this season, the Cowboys have been a one-dimensional football team. They have struggled to run the football with Tony Pollard as the number one back. This was evident on the goal line as the Cowboys were forced to pass in the red zone due to a lack of trust in the running game. They had opportunities to establish the run throughout the game and they were unable to do so. Pollard is very good as a third-down back. He is elusive and a receiving threat who has the opportunity to damage in open space. The problem is that he is not reliable as a goal to go back.
While Ezekiel Elliott certainly isn’t what he once was, he still has the ability to pick up tough yards and get the ball in the endzone when called upon. The Cowboys aren’t going to scare teams out of the backfield and the lack of a goal-line threat is going to come back to cost them in the end just like it did against the Eagles.
Re-signing CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons Are the Top Priorities This Offseason
CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons were the best players on the field for the Cowboys on Sunday. They made big plays every time they were called upon and kept them in the game. Lamb will be with the team through next year as the Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option, but his future beyond next year is uncertain. Parsons is under team control for two more years, but he will be a hot commodity once he hits the open market. The Cowboys must absolutely lock both of them up long-term because their value is only going to continue to go up. With Nick Bosa breaking the bank this offseason, retaining Parsons will be a huge challenge. That is why it is important that the Cowboys work on extending their top players sooner rather than later.
Dak Prescott Has Changed the Turnover Narrative
Dak Prescott has proven that last year was an outlier as far as interceptions go. So far this season, he has 13 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, the latter of which is the least in the NFC East. Prescott has been called upon a lot this season so far, especially given the Cowboys’ lack of running game. He is doing a great job of not forcing throws and using his legs to create big plays. Prescott has gotten away from running the football in recent years due to his ankle injury, but now fully healthy he is playing to his strengths and playing great football.
Brandon Aubrey Was a Great Pickup This Offseason
Brandon Aubrey set an NFL record on Sunday for most field goals made in a row as a rookie. This is notable because, in recent years, the Cowboys have been looking for a reliable kicker. They tried to solve the problem with Greg Zuerlein but he proved to be inefficient as did Brett Maher in his second stint. Aubrey has had the chance to shine this season, especially with the Cowboys’ red zone problems. The Cowboys have had trouble getting in the end zone and have relied on him time and time again to put up points. Aubrey has delivered and has the chance to be the Cowboys’ kicker of the future.
A Lack of Discipline Is Hurting the Cowboys
Sunday’s game was another classic example of the Cowboys beating themselves. They had the game handed to them by the Eagles in the last minute but self-inflicted penalties put the game out of reach. Between false starts, pass interferences, and illegal formations, these are penalties that simply cannot happen. While there were some questionable (missed) calls in the game, the Cowboys need to be better disciplined and clean up the penalties. They destroyed any momentum they had throughout the game with silly mistakes.
All in all, the Cowboys’ lack of a running game and discipline have played a big role in the team’s inability to win big games so far this season. Even in their wins, they’ve shown that they can’t establish the run and play clean football. Both of these are huge problems, and if they can’t clean up these areas, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.