There are plenty of positive takeaways from the Dallas Cowboys 24-19 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. For starters, Garrett Gilbert was electric. Gilbert was everything we hoped Ben DiNucci would be last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. As a matter of fact, there is a good chance we would beat the Eagles today with Gilbert at QB. Gilbert got everybody involved in the Cowboys offense, worked his way up the pocket, and flashed many of the skills he showed in the AAF. It is easy to see why Gilbert was handed the keys to the offense over Cooper Rush. So what went wrong and led to Dallas’ 24-19 loss?
For starters, the Cowboys lost the turnover battle. While the defense came close to creating turnovers, the Cowboys turned the ball over twice and both turnovers were devastating. CeeDee Lamb’s fumble in the first half led to a bizarre series of field goals, ultimately resulting in a 13-9 score at halftime. While the Cowboys competed admirably in the second half, turnovers were the ultimate downfall of the team. Gilbert’s one mistake came towards the end of the game. Was the targeted receiver held on the play? Most likely. But Gilbert has to hold onto the ball in that situation and take the sack. Instead he threw an interception and the Cowboys were unable to overcome questionable penalty calls and no calls in the 4th quarter.
The Cowboys have a week 10 bye, before heading to Minnesota in two weeks to take on the Vikings. Despite Gilbert’s impressive performance against the Steelers, there is no guarantee he gets the week 11 start. Andy Dalton is likely to return from concussion as well as Covid-19 protocol and is an experienced veteran option. But at this point, what do the 2-7 Cowboys have to lose? The Cowboys are one of three 2-win teams in the NFC East. Gilbert provided a spark that we have yet to see from Dalton or DiNucci. It would be wise if the powers that be in Dallas continue to play Gilbert, as it seems he may have that IT factor.
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