Through the first 5 weeks of the season, the cowboys passing game has been lackluster at best. Dak has surpassed the 200 yard mark only twice. He is averaging a low 192.2 yards/game. From his feet on up to his arm angle, nothing is consistent with Dak Prescott’s mechanics. Even, the best receiver on the team, Cole Beasley is not getting nearly enough action. People can say that he isn’t getting open, but those people would be wrong. Cole Beasley gets open frequently, but Dak either does not see him, or he overthrows him. Cole is not just running the typical out routes that has made him some money either. He is running slants, corners, a few fly routes, some drags, etc. He even has lined up in the backfield! Still, the Cowboys rarely find him with the ball in his hands.
The question that is in all fan’s minds on whether Dak is the future at QB remains to be seen. Much of the fault can be easily put on starting QB Dak Prescott, which is not necessarily incorrect, but the receivers have deserve just as much blame. Let’s look at the numbers for the receiving core through 5 weeks:
Cole Beasley: 17 catches/193 yards/0 TD
Geoff Swaim: 14 catches/159 yards/ 1 TD
Tavon Austin: 6 catches/125 yards/ 2 TD
Deonte Thompson: 11 catches/102 yards/0 TD
Allen Hurns: 8 catches/84 yards/ 1 TD
Michael Gallup: 6 catches/82 yards/ 0 TD
And a lot of nothing. Granted, Rico Gathers did catch his first ever (and only) pass in the Nfl for 32 yards.
At this pace, the cowboys leading receiver will end the season with a whopping… 618 yards! Compare these stats to the 1989 Cowboys who went 1-15, and the totals are rather similar (and that was not in the modern pass-happy era). Tavon Austin, a WR/RB that Stephen Jones proclaimed could be looking at around 10-12 touches a game, has 6 receptions in 5 games. The heir to the X receiver “throne”, Allen Hurns, has 8 catches. Rookie 3rd Round draft pick, Michael Gallup, has given glimpses of potential, but more often than not, is a forgotten soul. The Cowboys WR core might just be the worst WR group in the NFL –and that is not a hot take. All 4 of Dak’s interceptions have come off of the hands of his intended receiver. Some of the throws are not on the money, but definitely catchable. People will just assume the interceptions are Dak’s fault. They will say that if Dak expects to be a franchise QB, he has to make those throws. But Tavon, Deonte Thomson, Allen Hurns… are all getting paid to help out their quarterback. That just isn’t happening–plain and simple. Nobody expected these new WRs to rejuvenate the cowboys offense and fix all of their passing issues, but this level of “production” is not going to win many ball games. Dak is the type of QB that when his “in game confidence” is sky high, he plays sky high, and vice versa ( I say in game confidence because after every game he will say he is confident, even though it is clear in his body language/mechanics that he is not). When Dak has chemistry with 0 of the receivers, dropping passes does not help his confidence in them.
Nonetheless, Dak and the receiving core’s ineffectiveness ultimately falls on the coaching staff and the general manager. Dreams of Dez Bryant leaving the star must haunt Jerry Jones when he goes to sleep, Yes– Dez Bryant was not the former pro-bowler he once was. But, Dez Bryant still can be a difference maker on the field. Think back to last year against Arizona: Dez catches a short pass, brakes ankles, and trucks his way into the endzone. Adding Dez Bryant certainly would not suddenly make the Cowboys a top 10 offense, but it would not hurt it. Yet, I cannot see them signing him anytime soon (inner fan in me praying though). The Cowboys hired supposed route guru, Sanjay Lal, but overall nothing shows for it. The staff felt content going into this season with this group of receivers. Their false hope in the offensive scheme and personnel continues to hurt the Cowboys. Sooner, rather than later, the front office needs to wake up and make dramatic changes by adding new players via free agency or trade, or make a coaching change.