After the Dallas Cowboys squandered a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the NFC East with a devastating 30-21 defeat against the San Diego Chargers, the Cowboys need to elevate their performances to the next level and they need to do it immediately. It was a must-win game for the Cowboys against the Chargers, but instead, they took a huge step backwards.
After the Cowboys were victorious over the New York Giants in the first week of the season, everything from their quarterback Tony Romo to their defense to their head coach Jason Garrett had the appearance of a promising future for the upcoming season. Three weeks later, the Cowboys have lost two of their last three games along with a 2-2 record and life does not get any easier for them as a date with the high-octane offense in the Denver Broncos is looming this week.
There are major concerns both offensively and defensively with the Cowboys ranked nearly dead last in nearly every category in the NFL. Thought to be a major piece of the franchise with Romo, the Cowboys are only 21st in passing yards per game and 19th in rushing yards respectively. After supposedly revamping their defense through the draft during the offseason, there has not been any evidence of much improvement. Through four weeks, their defense has done a pitiful job against the pass allowing opposing teams to average 304 passing yards per game, which ranks 27th in the league. In their Week 4 loss to the Chargers, Philip Rivers absolutely picked apart the Cowboys defense while throwing for 401 passing yards.
Part of the problem with this team is that the Cowboys do not have an identity on either side of the ball. The play calling on offense has been erratic thus creating widely inconsistent stats for their contributing offensive players. The Cowboys have struggled this season without a balance attack on offense, which was evident when they rushed only 16 times in Week 4. As for their defense, one week they look like an elite unit, and the next they are being burning by opposing wide receivers.
The Cowboys need transcend their team to the same level as the expectations surrounding this organization. If the Cowboys do not, the chances of them making any noise in the playoffs will be impossible if they are left out.
Ryan Neiman writes for Rant Sports covering Dallas Cowboys Football. You could follow him on Twitter @RyanNAnthony or @FantasyUSports