Cowboys stuffed in Thanksgiving loss

Posted 12/3/19

The Dallas Cowboys lost their second straight contest with a 26-15 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills to spoil their annual Thanksgiving Day home game in Jerry World, dropping their record to a pedestrian 6-6 with four games remaining in the regular season. The Cowboys have still not defeated a team with a winning record this season.

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Cowboys stuffed in Thanksgiving loss

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The Dallas Cowboys lost their second straight contest with a 26-15 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills to spoil their annual Thanksgiving Day home game in Jerry World, dropping their record to a pedestrian 6-6 with four games remaining in the regular season. The Cowboys have still not defeated a team with a winning record this season.

In the wake of early season success through the air against some of the league’s lesser opponents, the Cowboys have strayed away from the running game. Dak Prescott threw the ball a whopping 49 times in a game that was mostly low scoring. Ezekiel Elliot ran the ball well, compiling 71 yards on 12 carries (nearly six yards per attempt), but he simply was not involved enough.

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore’s flashy, let’s-make-Dak-a-superstar approach may have worked against Miami and Washington, but Dallas has completely neglected the identity that has made them successful with this personnel in the past.

The good news for Dallas is that their division seems to be worsening with them on a weekly basis. The second place Philadelphia Eagles fell to 5-7 with a road loss to those Dolphins on Sunday, meaning the Cowboys held on to their slim lead.

The NFC East is a disturbing eyesore on an otherwise dominant conference. It is very possible that Dallas walks away with a division championship and home playoff game with a record of 9-7 or 8-8.

Regardless, it seems safe to say that Jason Garrett’s days as head coach are numbered. Owner Jerry Jones voiced his frustration with the coach after the team’s 13-9 loss to the New England Patriots on Nov. 24. A Thanksgiving loss did nothing to calm the outspoken owner’s concerns.

It appears that unless the Cowboys make a deep run in the postseason (which, even if they do win the lowly East, seems next to impossible at this point), that Garrett will be shown the door. He has done just enough to maintain his job for over a decade, but it could finally be time for a change with little to no returns on the constant Cowboy hype year in and year out.

Dallas will travel to Chicago to meet the disappointing but defensively stingy Bears (6-6) at Soldier Field on Thursday night. Considering the current status of the Eagles, it is hard to call this a must win game. It will, however, be critical for the team’s confidence moving forward.

After Chicago, the Cowboys will host the Rams and travel to Philadelphia for a matchup that could ultimately decide the East. They will conclude the regular season with a home game against Washington on Dec. 29.

The Texans delivered their fans a statement win at NRG Stadium on Sunday night with a 28-22 victory over Tom Brady and the Patriots (10-2). Watson poked holes in the league’s most dominant defense throughout the night and finished with four touchdowns, three passing and another receiving on a toss from DeAndre Hopkins.

Houston had three receivers record at least 50 yards in the win (Hopkins, Kenny Stills and Duke Johnson). Stills, Johnson and Darren Fells all recorded touchdown receptions.

On the other side, the New England offense continued to struggle and could not find a consistent rhythm. While Brady’s stat line was not bad by any means, the 42-year-old was never on the same page with his flakey receiving corp and the Texans kept the Patriots at bay until the final quarter.

The loss means that New England surrenders the top spot in the AFC playoffs to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens for the time being. The Ravens, also 10-2, own the tie breaker after defeating the Patriots 37-20 on Nov. 3.

Baltimore has not lost since Sept. 29 and are riding the dominance of Jackson on a weekly basis. The MVP frontrunner has set dazzling records at the quarterback position for the Ravens and is finding new and creative ways to win football games with his arm and with his legs. 
New England will conclude their season with matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Bills and Dolphins. The Ravens will see the Bills, Jets, Browns and Steelers.

Even with the struggles of the Patriots, the playoffs are a whole different beast. It will be critical for Jackson and the Ravens to hold onto the top spot if they hope to advance to the Super Bowl in February. They have already defeated New England at home, but doing so in the playoffs at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro is next to impossible, historically speaking.

The Texans, meanwhile, improved to 8-4 and maintained their one game advantage over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South. They also currently hold the tiebreaker over Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs in the race for the three seed in the playoffs as a result of their 31-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 13.

But Houston would do well to keep a level head after the exciting win over the defending champions and focus on the task at hand: the Titans. The Texans may hold a one-game lead, but that could evaporate in a hurry with two of their final three matchups of the regular season coming against Tennessee.

The Titans also seem like a rejuvenated team since swapping quarterback Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill and replaced the Colts as Houston’s main competition in the South with a comeback win in Indianapolis Sunday.

The Texans will travel to Tennessee on Dec. 15 and host the Titans on the last game of the regular season. They will also face the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After the first 13 weeks of the season, five teams in the NFL currently hold a record of 10-2. These teams include the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Ravens and Patriots.

A 49ers lost to the Ravens on Sunday allowed Seattle to move to the top of the NFC West for the time being. The Seahawks currently hold the tie-breaker over San Francisco, but the two will meet again in Seattle on the last day of the regular season. This matchup could decide which team gets a bye in the postseason and which has to travel on wildcard weekend.

The Saints, who clinched the NFC South title with a win over the Falcons on Thanksgiving night, currently hold possession of the NFC’s one-seed. The Packers are currently the three while the Vikings hold onto the conference’s final wildcard spot with the Los Angeles Rams and Bears still in the fight.

The AFC’s final wildcard currently belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have managed a 7-5 record despite a number of devastating injuries (including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) and a 1-4 start, along the Titans.

The surprising Bills strengthened their high playoff hopes with the victory in Dallas. They currently hold the AFC’s first wildcard and fifth seed.

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