The Cowboys played the Bills in Buffalo, in a “must-win” game for both teams. Prior to kickoff, the Cowboys learned that they clinched at the minimum, an NFC Wild card spot. It was expected for the team to make the playoffs with how great of a record they had even though they were tied for first in the NFC East.
The game kicked off and from the start, it was easy to tell the Cowboys were not ready for Buffalo. The defense got ran all over from beginning until the end of this game. James Cook had that breakout game, that many NFL fans knew he had in him. Cook finished the game with over 200 all-purpose yards and 2 TD’s. I believe if this was a closer game, he would have done even more damage.
How Did the Cowboys Allow Cook to Have a Career Game?
Defensive Tackle, Jonathan Hankins was unable to play in this game and that could be one of the reasons why the run defense played so poor. I agree with this to an extent but I just think the team severely underestimated this Buffalo team.
This Bills team did not have the most amazing record coming into this game, however they are much better than their record shows. Josh Allen is always a factor but when the team is so focused on stopping an MVP Caliber player, it allows other players to show up. The Bills can very easily make some noise in the AFC Playoffs this season.
Where Does This Leave the Cowboys Heading into the Playoffs?
Well, we know one thing this season, and that is, the Dallas Cowboys are undefeated at home while being slightly above mediocre when away. This game in specific showed us that there are many holes that need to be addressed.:
- The Run Defense Needs to Be Better– Hankins being out aside, the rest of the line needs to fill that gap and stuff the inside to prevent long runs.
- The O-Line Needs Improvement– You already know the name I am going to mention here. Terrence Steele has had some really difficult points this season, the one that comes to mind is when he allowed Josh Sweat to free rush and sack Dak at the end of the Fourth, resulting in a Cowboys loss where they definitely could and should have won.
- The Team Cannot Give Up in the Second Quarter– The Bills came out with a high tempo run offense and the Cowboys just could not stop it. The offense also struggled which put the defense into even more of a tough spot. I understand that the team had no momentum, but it felt as if they just gave up in the first half and that is not winning football, especially if they want to play deep into January.