A week ago the Cowboys were faced with their most difficult opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs and it was going to take an all-world performance from all aspects of the game, including coaching. The latter did a great job on all sides of the ball for that game.
Fast forward a week later, missing key components to the team, the Cowboys coaches seemed lost. It should be noted those key components weren’t just your average Joes. Tyron Smith, Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee are all key cogs on this team. With that said, the staff has to lend a helping hand in their absence.
Perhaps the biggest issue that seemed to go ignored was the atrocious play of Chaz Green. By halftime, the backup left tackle surrendered 3 sacks and multiple pressures and couldn’t come close to stopping Adrian Clayborn. Yet, with those facts given to them, they elected to trot him out there to open the 3rd quarter possession. That would end up being a costly mistake.
On the first drive of the 3rd quarter, the Cowboys were marching down the field on the verge of scoring, having entered the red zone getting to the 11-yard line on an inspiring drive. On 1st and 10, Dallas elects to pass lining up the back to Dak Prescott’s right leaving Chaz Green 1-on-1. What transpired? Clayborn’s 4th sack of the evening, backing up Dallas to 2nd and 18 virtually killing the drive. That was followed up by a missed field goal that would have brought the game to a 7 point deficit.
That drive in particular pretty much sums up the Cowboys’ coaching in that game. Not only did they elect to keep Green in the game and not give him help on a passing down, they decided to throw the ball on 1st and 10 from the 11 after a great drive running the ball. Here are the positive run results on that drive: 14 yard gain, 20 yard gain, 5 yard gain, 11 yard gain.
Then on 1st and 10 at the 11, Linehan elects to go into the shotgun with Morris lined up to Daks right, leaving Green 1-on-1. We know what happened next.
Now when a player is playing as bad as Green was, I can’t put the blame solely on the coaches, he turned in one of the worst performances I have ever seen in my life from an NFL lineman. However, there were other responsible parties in a game that was still winnable closing in on the 4th quarter.
With the Cowboys playoff window inching closer to being on the line next week, this coaching staff is going to have to bring it a lot harder than they did this past Sunday. Playing and coaching with urgency is a must.