Mile-High struggles



Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Damien Wilson (57) bring down Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) during the first quarter on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Story by TJ Wall, staff writer

Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin. Probably the most well-known trio ever to play for “America’s Team”, otherwise known as the Dallas Cowboys. However, that was back in the 90s when Dallas and their powerful trio won three Super Bowls (1992, 1993 and 1995). Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant are the new star-studded trio and a young group of guys at that.

Despite a promising season last year, Dallas lost out against the Green Bay Packers, ending their chance for Super Bowl contention. This season, many people saw Dallas as a team to fear even though they lost a good portion of their secondary during the offseason. It seemed  fans were right after Dallas shut down an impressive New York Giants team in the first regular season game with a performance from their “crippled” defense.

Sunday afternoon was when Dallas fans’ smiles turned upside down. They lost by 25 points, their largest loss since 2013, to the Denver Broncos in the Mile-High city. This left many Dallas fans, including myself, worried about what was in store for the beloved team this season.

The biggest headline of the game was the fact that Denver’s defense held Elliott to a total of eight rushing yards on nine attempts for the whole game, which was Elliot’s lowest career rushing game. Bryant was targeted 16 times for seven receptions, 59 yards and 1 touchdown.

Besides Elliott’s struggles, Prescott completed 30 passes in 50 attempts (60 percent) for 238 yards,two touchdowns and two interceptions. Prescott only threw four interceptions the entire season last year so the fact that he threw two in just one game shows that somewhere something went wrong.

While the altitude in Denver definitely played a role in Dallas’ horrible performance and the players didn’t play as well as usual, I personally think that the coaches did a horrible job in spreading out the field on offense and making better play calls. If you only pass the ball ten yards or less every play the defense will catch on and make adjustments. You have to throw the occasional deep ball in order to get the opposing defense to back off and make some space so that you can be successful in other plays moving forward.

Dallas’ defense did not help out either. They had as many holes as a piece of Swiss cheese and allowed Denver to get four passing touchdowns, One rushing touchdown, and a total of 409 all-purpose yards. They played as bad as people had originally expected.

Overall, Dallas struggled and will definitely look to improve on their mistakes against the Arizona Cardinals next week. Thankfully it’s still early on in the season, but Dallas will need to figure out what went wrong and fix it quickly if they look to be the team they once were.