Cowboys have several questions to answer this offseason, following loss to Packers in playoffs

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday by a score of 48-32, ending their season. The Cowboys came into the game with high expectations, holding the two seed and playing at home where they had previously been undefeated in 16 games. The Cowboys were 7.5-point favorites heading into the game with the Packers who held a 9-8 record and just squeezed into the playoffs.

The game couldn’t have started any worse for the Cowboys, who found themselves in a 27-0 deficit in the first half. Dan Quinn’s defense looked disjointed from the start, and never truly recovered throughout the game. The Packers 48 points was the first time a team had scored at least 40 points against the Cowboys in the playoffs in their franchise history. Packers quarterback Jordan Love finished the game with a passer rating of 157.2 in his first ever career start. The Cowboys were unable to defend the run either, with running back Aaron Jones gashing them for 118 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.

The Cowboys offense was unable to get anything going in the first half, with their first touchdown coming on the final play of the first half. Quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb looked out of synch from the beginning, and Prescott threw two interceptions in the first half, one being returned for a touchdown.

To call this a disappointing loss would be an understatement. It could be argued that this is the most embarrassing playoff loss in franchise history. This is the first time that a number seven seed has won a game in the playoffs since the NFL expanded the playoffs to seven teams in each conference.

It is hard to imagine the Cowboys don’t make a major change in the organization following this loss, but it is equally hard to predict what they do. While Mike McCarthy’s seat should undoubtedly be hot, firing a coach who has gone 36-15 in the regular season over the last three seasons might not be the easiest decision. It had been rumored that the Cowboys could be losing defensive coordinator Dan Quinn after he’s received significant interest from other teams for their head coach position. While this was previously considered to be a big loss for the Cowboys, some fans may think the Cowboys would be wise to move on from Quinn following his disastrous showing against an inexperienced Packers offense.

One question that looms large is the future surrounding Dak Prescott. Prescott will likely be an MVP-finalist this season, having his best regular season of his career. However, Prescott has continued to fuel the narrative that he doesn’t have what it takes to win in the playoffs. Prescott has just one year remaining on his contract, but as it stands right now, he is set to carry a $59.5 million cap hit in 2024. It had been widely reported that the team would look to extend Prescott this offseason, alleviating his cap hit in 2024 and keeping him in Dallas for more years. With that being said, many fans will argue it is time to move on from Prescott, as he has proven he is not the guy to take the Cowboys to a Super Bowl.

After a loss of this magnitude, it’s understandable to want the team to ‘clean house’. However, the Cowboys had nine players make the AP All-Pro team and still have one of the better rosters in the NFL. The Cowboys currently have a plethora of upcoming players hitting free agency. This list includes RB Tony Pollard, CB Stephon Gilmore, C Tyler Biadsz, S Jayron Kearse, and LT Tyron Smith.

The Cowboys have a long offseason ahead, one that could define the future of the organization.


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