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Stat Pack: Struggling To Get Third-Down Stops 


Here is a deeper look at five statistics from the Cowboys' 28-14 loss to the Titans:

60 –

Titans running back Dion Lewis caught four passes in the game, primarily on screens, for 60 yards and a touchdown. That continues a somewhat disturbing trend this year, as the Dallas defense has had trouble at times covering those coming out of the backfield. In the team's eight games this season, five times a running back has totaled at least 40 receiving yards with three of those earning 60 or more: Lewis, Houston's Alfred Blue (73) and the Giants' Saquon Barkley (80). The Cowboys have allowed a running back to total at least 20 yards receiving in every game this season.

29 –

Tennessee came into this matchup ranked 19th in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing 112.3 yards on the ground per game. And Ezekiel Elliott got off to a strong start, rushing five times for 29 yards, a 5.8 yards per carry average. But over the rest of the night, he gained only 32 yards on 12 tries, a 2.67 mark. This comes on the heels of his 33-yard performance against the Redskins in the Cowboys' last game. Through the first four outings of the season, Elliott rushed for 426 yards on 73 attempts, a 5.83 yards per carry average. Over the last four, he's totaled 254 yards on 76 carries, a 3.34 average.

2 –

Although the offensive line struggled against the Titans defense, quarterback Dak Prescott did not have a designed running play the entire game, his two carries coming off scrambles. And this despite the Cowboys having had previous success using the run/pass option, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. This marked the fourth time this season Prescott has rushed for less the 30 yards with the Cowboys going 1-3 in those games.  

79 –

The Cowboys defense struggled to get off the field on third downs with the Titans converting 11 of their 14 third-down chances, a 79 percent success rate. According to Pro Football Reference, this was the highest third-down conversion rate by a Cowboys opponent since 1991. And, it was only the fifth time in team history that Dallas has allowed a third-down conversion rate of higher than 70 percent. The previous high was 76.5 percent by the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 23, 1997. Not surprisingly, all five games resulted in losses.

17.6 –

Over their last 16 games, dating back to last season, the Cowboys have now scored 20 or fewer points 12 times for an average of 17.6 points per game. That's the fourth lowest mark in the NFL over that span, bettering only the Raiders (17.1), Giants (16.7), Cardinals (16.6) and Bills (14).