The Cowboys needed to beat the Jets to stay alive for playoff contention. Unfortunately, the Cowboys came up short and lost 19-16 despite their valiant effort. Now, all they can do is play the last two games, and finish the season in style.
My thoughts on the Cowboys performance
Offense: Matt Cassel played the first four offensive drives, but after throwing an interception, he was immediately benched for Kellen Moore, who took an actual meaningful NFL snap for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, Moore’s debut was not a good one as he threw only one touchdown and three interceptions, two of which were costly, and had a little over 150 yards threw the air. Darren McFadden ran the ball sixteen times for 100 yards. Overall, the offense was mediocre. A total of 309 total yards, going 2-11 on third down efficiency, and four turnovers will not lead to a victory. For this performance, the offense gets a C as we saw Kellen Moore connect with Dez Bryant on a ten-yard touchdown pass, and Cole Beasley on a fourth down play that set up a game-tying field goal. The Cowboys have a major issue with red-zone offense, and it doesn’t matter which quarterback is under center. We can expect Kellen Moore to start the final two games even though head coach Jason Garrett won’t confirm this.
Defense: I am not going to sugar coat this, but I have to say that the defense is not to blame on this loss. They kept the tough Jets offense to under 400 yards of total offense, including only 73 rushing yards. They got to the quarterback twice, and forced one turnover, and made many great stops including on a 4th and one play at the Dallas three-yard line. They forced the Jets to go 5-14 on third down efficiency. Despite only two sacks and one interception, the defense kept the Cowboys in the game, but they didn’t get enough support from the offense. Defense gets a B.
Special Teams: Dan Bailey went 3-3, including that 50-yard kick that tied the game. Chris Jones, of course, had some great punts. Lucky Whitehead returned five kickoffs for a total of 131 yards. However, as far as punt returns went, Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead both had combined 23 yards of punt returning. Special Teams gets an A thanks to the kicking talents of Dan Bailey and Chris Jones, and of course, the speed talent of Lucky Whitehead.
It’s like I said earlier, the Cowboys are officially finished. I know I’ve said it many times before, but this time, it’s for real. There’s two games left, and the Cowboys can still play well and show some heart, guts, and pride.