Facing a stiff challenge in front of a national audience, the true failures of the Dallas Cowboys were front and center once again.
There is one thing that has been consistent over the past decade when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. One thing you can count on, without fail, to rear its head whenever they are faced with a presumably difficult challenge. The Dallas Cowboys are undermanned when it comes to matching wits against opposing coaching staffs.
Sunday Night versus the Minnesota Vikings was simply the latest in this cruel on-going saga. The Dallas Cowboys, from a talent standpoint, had the advantage in this game. Minnesota played without their best wide receiver. They were missing starters along their defensive line and in their secondary.
Dallas was playing this game in their own stadium. AT&T Stadium had been the site of 11 wins in the Cowboys last 14 appearances in front of their home crowd. Many factors pointed in the direction of success for the Dallas Cowboys. Just one thing stood out as an obvious issue that Dallas would need to overcome.
Per usual that one thing turned out to be the exact reason that Dallas lost another game that they seemingly should have won. Coaching.
All the things that doomed Dallas in their 28-24 defeat at the hands of the Vikings came down to coaching. Pick something you felt could have turned the loss into a win and you can attribute it to horrible decision-making of the coaching staff.
From the opening drive to the final possession, several decisions made by the coaching staff, primarily head coach Jason Garrett, cost this team. On their first possession, after failing on the first of many third down and long situations, Garrett decided to attempt a 57-yard field goal.
While it is true that kicker Brett Maher has two 60+-yard makes this year, that distance is by no means a lock. Not shockingly, Maher missed the kick, setting up Minnesota’s first drive on their 47-yard line. Five plays later, the Vikings scored a touchdown thanks to the short field and Dallas trailed 7-0.
The next two drives for the Dallas Cowboys culminated in punts as well. Meanwhile, the Vikings scored another touchdown, putting Dallas behind 14-0 after the first quarter.