The Dallas Cowboys got a much needed win to put themselves in a tie for the division lead. That sounds like a team who should be elated and confident going forward. However, even while Dallas got the win, they showed serious weakness that should be causes for concern.
Let’s start with the offense. They managed a mere 213 yards and got only 4.3 yards per play. Tony Romo played like an average quarterback (which is a poor game for him) with 170 yards passing, one interception and one touchdown. He really should have done better against a bad Washington Redskins defense, and if Dallas wants to make some noise Romo has to be better. The real issue was with the run game, though, which averaged just 2.5 yards a carry. After DeMarco Murray went down, things just fell apart. Murray is a solid runner, but he often gets injured. If this injury lingers it could mean serious issues for Dallas.
On defense the Cowboys held tough in the red zone, but Washington moved the ball easily for most of the game. Kudos to the Dallas D for holding the Redskins to nine points on three red zone trips this week, but that will simply not be enough against better teams. The Redskins had over 200 more yards of offense and averaged a solid 5.8 yards per play. The Cowboys got by because Washington could not punch the ball in, but that is not a long term solution for the defense’s woes.
If Dallas wants to win a playoff game their defense must be better and their offense must be able to take advantage of weak defenses. Dallas got the win and is in good position to make the playoffs, but if they want to really be a contender they must improve on both sides of the ball.
Jay Cullen is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Add him on Google.