10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 Loss to Green Bay - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 Loss to Green Bay

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Dak Prescott #4 throws to Jason Witten #82 of the Cowboys in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Here are 10 thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to Green Bay.

    1. There was nothing egregious about Jason Garrett’s decision to throw on 2nd-and-2 from the Green Bay 11 with 1:24 left. They were down by four and their most important job is score a touchdown. If they can burn up the clock to zero, then fine. But they had one field goal in the second half until Prescott’s touchdown run.
    2. Cole Beasley caught four passes for 23 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and that’s great. But he’s still on pace to catch 48 passes for 349 yards, which isn’t good enough. Last year, Beasley caught 75 passes for 833 yards. It has now been nine games since he’s had 50 yards receiving in a game, in part, because he’s so respected that he no longer gets covered by linebackers or safeties. He gets one of the opponents’ best cornerbacks.
    3. The Cowboys used their fullbacks — Keith Smith and Rod Smith — for 16 plays to try to help run game. They entered the game with 26 total plays this season, but contributed three catches for 28 yards. Keith Smith, who played 13 snaps against Green Bay, had only 16 in the first four games.
    4. David Irving, DeMarcus Lawrence and Maliek Collins give Cowboys a pass rush with potential. Irving had two sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits in his first game after a four-game suspension.
    5. The Cowboys have not forced a turnover in 196 minutes and 59 seconds, spanning 13 quarters. The Cowboys have allowed points on 14 of 18 possessions, which is why they have blown leads of 11 and 15 at AT&T Stadium the last two weeks.
    6. It was nice to see Ezekiel Elliott dominate in the fourth quarter for the first time this season. Actually, it’s the first time I’ve seen the Cowboys have a quarter like that in first five games.
      Elliott had 16 carries for 31 yards in the first quarter, but he had 13 carries for 85 yards in the fourth quarter.
    7. Dak Prescott made several excellent throws into tight windows against the Packers. The intermediate passing game returned for the Cowboys, which is why Jason Witten caught eight passes for 61 yards.
      His footwork and mechanics were more consistent, and so were the results. He also ran the ball four times for 37 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 1:13 left.
    8. Jourdan Lewis looks like a player. He had seven tackles, broke up three passes and has proved that the game isn’t too big for him. He’s highly competitive. He gave up the game-winning 12-yard touchdown to Davante Adams, but it took a perfect throw and catch to beat him.
    9. The Cowboys committed three penalties on special teams, which is awful.
    10. It’s a fallacy to believe linebacker Sean Lee’s return will solve all of the Cowboys’ problems. The Cowboys have allowed three runners to gain more than 120 yards. Their linebackers must play better and the defense, overall, must do a better job of tackling.