DALLAS - For the second straight week, the Dallas Cowboys were unable to win a ballgame in which they had a lead going into the half. Four games have occurred in the NFL where a team scored 30 or more points with 400 yards of offense and still lose.
The Cowboys have done it twice. Their offense has been up to the task, mostly during first halves of games. They have been outscored 42-16 in the second half the last two weeks. None of their 16 points scored came in the third quarter.
In both games Sean Lee was absent but there are other players who need to step up in the coming weeks. The Cowboys need to create turnovers on defense, which hasn’t happened the last few games. The key to a “bend but don’t break” defense is getting off the field, turnovers would help this team tremendously.
These are the five players who need to step up for the final 11 games. The team would benefit from bigger roles within the team.
- Typically, the term “step up” should be reserved for players who need to play at a higher-level due to what they have shown in the past but this does not apply to Lewis. The Cowboys need him to step up due to the drop in play of Anthony Brown.
- Nolan Carroll was let go after he was unable to get on the field. Lewis has emerged as the guy and should take his spot on the outside. Allow Brown to play nickel and rotate Chidobe Awuzie into the mix when he is healthy again.
- No question, Cole Beasley hasn’t been the player he was a season ago. Through five games this season Beasley has 15 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Last year Beasley had 27 receptions for 332 yards and one touchdown.
- Beasley needs to be the chain mover he was to really help this offense. A lot of his success is predicated on the run game production, but nonetheless, Cole Beasley needs more production to help this offense produce.
- Dallas needs to have either Chaz Green or Jonathan Cooper step up and help this run game. This is pivotal to the team’s success especially given the health of Tyron Smith. Smith is getting beat at a higher rate than the team is used to and a competent left guard would surely help him out.
- On top of the Cowboys not able to run the ball effectively, Dak Prescott is running for his life more often than not this season. Should the Cowboys shore up their offensive line woes through the bye week, it could bring a streak of wins to regain control of the NFC East down the road.
- Irving finally returned from his four-game suspension and he had success against the Green Bay Packers to the tune of five tackles and two sacks. Even coming close to a third one but was unable to rein in Rodgers.
- Stephen Paea announcing retirement really hurt the plans for this season in terms of how to use Irving. Given his strength and interior pass rush ability, the former Iowa State Cyclone should get more snaps at the one-technique tackle position.
- Outside of a few players -- Tank Lawrence included -- there has been no pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys. Not really a consistent one anyway. Mayowa, who led the team in sacks last year, has yet to even get close enough to breathe on an opposing quarterback.
- Lawrence will garner all the attention moving forward so it leaves that up to players like Mayowa to take advantage of one-on-one opportunities. A more potent pass rush can help mask some of the issues in the secondary the Cowboys need to address in the near future.
Who do you think should step it up for the Cowboys after the bye week? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.
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