ARLINGTON, Texas — 4 weeks, Mike McCarthy says, constitutes a sample. A sample of gradual begins and almost at all times trailing contests, requiring the Cowboys’ up-tempo offense to rally furiously and largely unsuccessfully.
A sample of traditionally dangerous defensive outings, Cowboys opponents scoring at the very least 38 factors in every of the final three video games earlier than the Browns’ 49-38 onslaught turned the worst allowance but.
A sample of turnovers, too, this week courtesy of fumbles on consecutive offensive snaps by quarterback Dak Prescott and working again Ezekiel Elliott. Cleveland scored a landing off every, and the Cowboys by no means regained their lead in additional than two quarters left of play.
“This sample must cease,” McCarthy stated Sunday afternoon. “That begins with management.
“That begins with me.”
Enable Prescott to disagree.
Prescott broke a number of data Sunday in a 502-yard, four-touchdown efficiency through which he additionally was strip-sacked and threw a game-sealing interception. The quarterback turned the primary in NFL historical past to throw for greater than 450 yards in three straight video games. His 1,690 yards by way of 4 video games broke a mark held by Kurt Warner, who in 2000 tossed 1,557.
However “I’d give all these yards again for a special document,” stated Prescott, who misplaced a fumble in a 3rd straight contest behind an injury-riddled offensive line. “I care about one stat, and that’s to win. Once we don’t do this, no different stats matter.”
And Prescott takes duty for the group’s incapacity to compile a balanced effort—whilst McCarthy says the onus falls on him.
“He’s a type of coaches that it hurts while you lose a recreation like this,” Prescott stated. “It hurts that you just let him down. You’re extra damage that you just disappoint him, and also you’d somewhat him be mad at you.
“We’ve to be higher executing on the sector for him and the remainder of the coaches.”
In 9 seasons with Jason Garrett as head coach, the Cowboys at all times received at the very least two video games of their first 4 contests. Their final 1-Three document dates again to 2010, the yr proprietor Jerry Jones fired then-coach Wade Phillips at midseason.
To the Cowboys’ credit score, the group has continued to struggle even because it digs holes every week. Dallas has trailed for all however 17:28 of their 240-minute season, or greater than 72% of recreation time. In opposition to the Falcons in Week 2, the Cowboys turned the primary group in 441 tries to beat an opponent that scored 39 factors with out committing a turnover, per Elias. They briefly held a 31-30 lead within the fourth quarter in Seattle the next week regardless of two turnovers propelling Seattle to a 30-15 benefit within the contest. In opposition to Cleveland, Dallas emerged from a 41-14 fourth-quarter gap to slim the hole to three after 24 unanswered fourth-quarter factors.
“I don’t journey on how a lot we go down within the recreation so long as the clock’s nonetheless working,” stated receiver Amari Cooper, who posted 134 yards and a landing however blamed himself for an incorrect route on the interception that sealed Dallas’ loss. “My thought course of is at all times: Crazier issues have occurred so we simply maintain preventing all the best way ’til the top.”
However banking on late fourth-quarter performs isn’t a recipe for sustained success, because the outcomes have proven.
“We’re a come-from-behind group as I stand in entrance of you,” McCarthy stated. “That’s not the best way you win constantly. That won’t be our strategy, that’s for certain.”
The Cowboys have two extra residence video games up subsequent, towards their NFC East rival Giants subsequent week adopted by the Cardinals on “Monday Night time Soccer.” Every unit is taking inventory of itself, from Prescott’s acknowledgement his turnovers compromised the protection to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence insisting his unit has been soft and must play “like actual males—not children.”
No well being reprieves are anticipated to return within the close to future, proper deal with La’el Collins headed for season-ending hip surgical procedure whereas linebackers Leighton Vander Esch (damaged collarbone) and Sean Lee (sports activities hernia surgical procedure) stay weeks to months away from consideration for activation from injured reserve.
In the meanwhile, Cowboys entrance workplace members additionally dismiss the likelihood that they’d go outdoors the group to assist a battered and struggling secondary.
They’ll as an alternative hope McCarthy, with a Tremendous Bowl on his résumé, can present the group the teaching benefit it hoped to safe when hiring him.
“If ifs and buts have been nuts, it’d be Christmas on a regular basis. I get it,” McCarthy stated. “The applying of the main points didn’t exist as we speak in sure spots of the sport. There was a variety of good soccer that can go unrecognized. That’s what occurs with you lose.
“The factors are outrageous. The time of possession is completely lopsided. We’re minus-seven within the turnover ratio. That’s not a successful formulation.
“It in the end falls at my ft. It’s my duty.”