Well, anyway, that was a huge disaster. It started out being a huge disaster, but then it continued being a huge disaster. At some point, there was a rain delay. On each side of the rain delay there was mostly disaster.
There was like…one minute where it seemed like it might not be a disaster? I mean the Boys often start out slow, so even though the Broncos were moving through ‘em like they weren’t there, after a missed field goal and a fumble return made it 7-7 it seemed like, even though the Cowboys had looked way worse, it was reasonable to think we might see a more even contest.
Then they even held the Broncs to a long field goal, on 4th and 22, but since this was the worst game I’ve ever watched, naturally what happened next is that DeMarcus Lawrence, who had just gotten the sack that put them so far back, used leverage or something on the kick which of course game them 1st and ten in the red zone. Then other things happened. A whole afternoon of other things.
Side-note: The NFL should REALLY think about what it wants to make an automatic first down. I like pro pass interference more than college pass interference, because NFL WRs often do catch passes that are thrown to them, but bailing out a 4th and 22 with “leverage?”
It would have been one thing if Lawrence had springboarded off the back of an unaware Denver center for an Olympic Gymnastics worthy field goal block, but touching the back of a ducking blocker doesn't feel first down worthy.
I mean football is a game of inches, where every play seems like part of the rhythm of the game in a really intense way – that’s why it’s interesting. So you really want to try to avoid penalties that sound like what an eight year old would claim was true in a game of tag on the playground. “Nuh uh, you didn’t tag me, I was on super secret reverse serum so actually you’re out now” – that’s what your “leverage” penalty sounds like to me, NFL refs.
But it didn’t matter, because then the Cowboys just went back to getting blown out. Dak Prescott threw 50 times and got fewer than 240 yards, which, I’m not a mathematician, but is less than five yards a throw. Ezekiel Elliott ran nine times and got slightly fewer yards than that. A week after the Boys totally shut down the Giants, Lawrence seemed like their only good defensive player (except for that leverage, buddy, I’m watching you. That’s definitely not just some show on TNT starring Timothy Hutton).
Obviously it feels like nobody should overact to either of the first two games, so far. But, listen: nobody wanted to talk about it last year, but the Cowboys actually didn’t play anyone good. Since the NFC East was pretty bad – still seems to be true this year, they got matched up with the division with the Cleveland Browns in it, and they spent a lot of time playing the Bears and 49ers of the world.
The playoff teams last year, in addition to the Cowboys, were the Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Giants, Lions, Pats, Chiefs, Steelers, Texans, Raiders, and Dolphins. They played like four of those guys.
If Denver is a blip, it’s a pretty meaningless one. Non-conference, non-division, against maybe the league’s top defense – no big deal. But the offense isn’t doing much and this is far from the only good defense they’ll play. Meanwhile, Dak has yet to look like the star on the rise he seemed to be. So, we’ll see! He could certainly quiet a lot of whispers by showing off against one of the league’s best secondaries this Monday, at Arizona.
You can find Andy on Twitter @andytobo where, in addition to talking Cowboys, he's super into the Dallas Mavericks.