The biggest fourth quarter collapse in the history of the Dallas Cowboys? Where else but at Lambeau Field against the Packers. Going into yesterday’s contest in Green Bay, the Cowboys were 195-0 when leading by at least 14-points in the fourth quarter. In 63 years of football, the Cowboys had never lost when leading by two touchdowns at some point in the final period. One-hundred-ninety-five games, one-hundred-ninety-five wins.
And so predictable. It’s the same problems that have plagued the Cowboys for the past two-plus seasons. These same issues, repeated week after week, don’t matter much against the Lions or the Bears. But you can’t do this against decent teams and expect to win.
Penalties, of course. Dallas continues to lead the league in yellow flags.
The run defense, yes. Green Bay ran for more than 200-yards against the Cowboys. In fact, heading into that fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers had only attempted eleven passes. If you remain committed to the run game, if you stay patient and keep pounding the ball on the ground, you will beat the Cowboys.
Turnovers, again. Dak’s two picks looked like a result of miscommunication with his intended targets, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. Really? A franchise quarterback, a number one wide receiver, and a tight end playing with a franchise tag shouldn’t be having communication issues in November following a bye week.
Clock management, check. Mike McCarthy’s indecision and complete lack of fundamental clock management skills cost the Cowboys dearly on their last drive in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys’ playoff hopes ended yesterday with that fourth quarter meltdown. Dallas is in third place in its own division with the undefeated Eagles looking to widen the gap tonight against Washington. The Cowboys play the once-beaten Vikings in Minnesota this Sunday and then host the Giants three days later. You might be looking at a three-game losing skid here. Even if they win one of these next two, the division title and the potential first-round bye are gone. If – IF! – the Cowboys qualify for the postseason, they’re facing a wild card game against a division champ.
The biggest fourth quarter collapse in franchise history. That’s noteworthy. Significant, even. Under the leadership of Jerry Jones, the Cowboys keep breaking team records and making franchise history – just not the kind you put on the cover of your media guide.