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Mailbag: Figuring Out Struggles On Offense?


There have been statistics floating around about when Zeke gets less than or more than 20 carries and how it correlates to Cowboys wins. Though it was slow and sloppy, why get away from the run against the Eagles? Zeke was moving the ball and gaining steam. - J.M. SMITH / WALDORF, MD

Nick: I wish I had a better answer for you. I never seem to know why the Cowboys get away from the run. This wasn't a game in which the score got away from them. And regardless how serious Dak's shoulder injury, he didn't really practice all week. Whether he's hurting or just rusty, it doesn't seem like a good idea to give him 44 throws. I agree that they got away from the run. And what makes it worse to me is that just seven days earlier they flat-out dominated the line of scrimmage against the Rams and did whatever they wanted to. They told us they got "back to basics" in that game. Well, they went away from that one week later with the division on the line.

Rob: I was surprised Elliott had only five carries for 9 yards in the first half. Watching it back, Philly did crowd the line of scrimmage. It opened up opportunities in the passing game and Dak Prescott and the receivers just couldn't capitalize enough. But the best drive they had in the game was the opening series of the third quarter, when Elliott got them in scoring position with a half-dozen runs and screens before Tony Pollard's fumble. When he's involved, it gets the play-action going and everything seems to flow better.

Is it just me or does Dak seem a little off lately with throws high, low, or behind the receiver? Is he more hurt than advertised? - ANDRE KIDRICK / BUNKER HILL, WV

Nick: It's certainly not just you – he has been off. If the Cowboys are going to say he's not hurt, then he's not. Or at least, not hurt enough to matter. But you're right something seems off with him. This is the time of year when it gets colder and you're supposed to be able to rely on your running game. This is how the team was built in the first place. But yet, they go out and try to throw it 50 times a game. I don't think I would be relying on the passing game as much as they do, regardless of who is passing the ball. But throw in the fact that Dak is not at his best right now and it's even more puzzling.

Rob: Prescott did miss throws against the Eagles, but he was adamant that the shoulder didn't affect him, so I take him at his word. The lack of practice time during the week might have been the biggest issue. Just seemed like he didn't see the field as well as he normally does and wasn't as comfortable in the pocket. It's looking like another week of limited work in practice, so we'll see how that impacts him against Washington, assuming he'll be physically ready to play.

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