The Dallas Cowboys dropped their third straight game to fall to 3-3 and it’s fair to wonder if they are Super Bowl contenders or if they’re frauds.
The NFL schedule served up a pair of tough games to the Dallas Cowboys, with losses to the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers taking them from 3-0 to 3-2. Things were looking up for the Cowboys with a matchup against the struggling New York Jets, who entered the game 0-4 and didn’t even look like an NFL team for the entirety of Sam Darnold’s absence.
Darnold returned for the Jets today and absolutely torched the Dallas secondary, completing 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard strike to Robby Anderson in the second quarter. That bomb came after the Cowboys were stopped on fourth down deep in Jets’ territory. The sequence ended up swinging the game massively in New York’s favor.
The Cowboys dug themselves a deep hole for the second straight week, trailing 21-6 at the half after falling behind the Packers 31-3 in Week 5. That made life very difficult for Dak Prescott, who was working without his two starting tackles and slot receiver Randall Cobb even before Amari Cooper injured his quad early and was knocked out of the game.
To their credit, the Cowboys made some strong adjustments after the half, going to a spread formation and running out of it, creating lanes for Ezekiel Elliott and taking advantage of the Jets’ lack of depth at inside linebacker. Dallas ended up scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cut it to within two, but a two-point conversion attempt was broken up by Jamal Adams to ice the game.
There were still plenty of problems for Dallas in this one, including the fact that they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly by committing nine penalties for 86 yards. Brett Maher also missed a crucial field goal in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Jets to tack on an insurance score and keep the margin at eight points, necessitating the two-point conversion Dallas was unable to convert.
The Cowboys have now dropped three straight after their 3-0 start, and all of the teams they have beaten have a combined three victories. This game with the Jets was a great chance for Dallas to get well ahead of a big game with the Eagles next week and they squandered it.
A performance like this, the latest in a disastrous three-game stretch for Dallas, has raised the question of whether or not the Cowboys are frauds who can’t beat anyone legitimate. Those concerns are definitely valid, and Dallas can also get rid of them by beating the Eagles in Jerry World next Sunday night to reclaim sole possession of first place in the NFC East.