The Dallas Cowboys entered this duel as heavy favorites. Also because for the Tennessee Titans, although they are still in the hunt for the playoffs, this game was for nothing. They lived up to that status as favorites and won without playing particularly convincingly themselves.
Titans vs. Cowboys: At a Glance
- The Dallas Cowboys took advantage of a rocky start in the Titans’ offense to carve out an early lead
- A turnover battle before the break that lost four balls put the Titans back within reach
- The Tennessee Titans offense, led by new starting quarterback Josh Dobbs, worked their way into the game and made a strong comeback
- In the end, however, Dak Prescott got back to his feet soon enough after the pre-break errors to miss nothing and secure the obligatory victory with 27:13.
Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas Cowboys: The Analysis
The match started off a bit bumpy. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott quickly got an early two-pass to CeeDee Lamb, then the Tennessee Titans stopped Ezekiel Elliott’s runs for an early punt. The Titans also had trouble with a first pass and didn’t show up again. But then the cowboy racing game began. Seven runs and five assists put the ball forward – in the end, Elliott pushed himself off the 1-yard line and into the end zone.
Things haven’t gone well for the Titans just yet and the 3&Out followed immediately. Dallas continued to step forward, but this time mostly in isolated big plays and not small steps. The end in the red zone was just as bumpy and Dallas took the basket.
Then, for the first time, Tennessee got a good record. New starting quarterback Josh Dobbs saved the first play right after a fumble, then on third down he found wide receiver Racey McMath on a deep pass for 39 yards. But a little later, the start of a turnaround show: Dobbs slipped on a sack and dropped the ball, Micah Parsons picked it up.
Dallas didn’t respond with runs, but fumbled their own snap on Titans Teair Tart nose tackle. A 3&out from Tennessee was followed by a wild interception by the Cowboys. Prescott actually thought tight end Peyton Hendershot was perfect, but he couldn’t hold the ball and oddly spread it into Kevin Byard’s arms. After a few movements, the first points of the Titans followed by field goal.
Dallas started a final drive in just over a minute. After a single defensive penalty kept the player alive, Prescott once again found the arms of Titans cornerback Byard. After a great effort game from Treylon Burks, the Titans took the basket to make it 6-10 with two seconds left.
Titans follow suit – Cowboys secure mandatory win
After the break, a fall from Burks meant the Titans had to kick right away. The Cowboys’ drive was actually stopped relatively early, but on third down and going 19 yards, Titans cornerback Tre Avery caught Michael Gallup and unnecessarily caused pass interference for 51 yards. On the next play, Prescott found tight end Dalton Schultz in the end zone for a touchdown.
This time, the Titans responded well. Little by little, first try by first try, they progressed. After about 6.5 minutes, Josh Dobbs found Robert Woods for his first touchdown and tied it 13-18. But the Cowboys got better and better and couldn’t be stopped by the Titans defense. After the last quarter break, they picked up the pace and it was Schultz again who caught Prescott’s touchdown pass.
The Titans started the comeback with a 20-yard drive from Burks. But then the Cowboys defense seemed to have regained its stability. A pass to running back resulted in a first down, then it was over for Tennessee. The Cowboys came forward with two big plays, then faltered and scored a field goal.
In trying to turn things around, Dobbs acted too erratically and overlooked cornerback Nahshon Wright, whom he threw a ball into his arms. After a 3&out by the Cowboys, the Titans were unable to regain the kick. With Doubs missing four receivers, Dallas took over but returned another quick punt to Tennessee. Because they were only running with two minutes on the clock, the game ended with no further points.
Tennessee Titans (7-9) vs. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)
Result: 13:27 (0:7, 6:3, 7:7; 0:10) BOXSCORE
Titans vs. Cowboys – the most important stats
- The Tennessee Titans are actually one of the teams with the fewest penalties in the NFL. But against the Cowboys, they were totally wrong here: Nine penalties for a total of 119 yards played a decisive role in Dallas’ victory, which was actually harmless.
- Josh Dobbs has had some teething issues. Then he got better and better and showed potential for better performances in the future. With 20/39 passes for 232 yards as well as a touchdown and an interception, he has shown more appealing performances than Malik Willis recently. However, under pressure towards the end, he became very agitated again, throwing the unnecessary interception, among other things.
- Dallas lost the turnover battle (2-3) and rushed for just 44 more yards than Tennessee (361 to 317), but because they took better chances, they won by more double the points. Not necessarily a victory for shipyards, but above all for efficiency.
- CeeDee Lamb had 11 catches for 100 yards for the third straight week in triple digits.
The star of the game: Dalton Schultz
The Dallas Cowboys tight end was a welcome addition as an assist for Dak Prescott. He distributed his passes well and found his receivers consistent. But in decisive moments, especially in the end zone, Schultz was a reliable passing station. He had seven catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Schultz had no role in the interception thrown against him – it went 100% to Prescott.
The flop of the game: Cowboys offensive inconsistency
Overall, Dallas’ offense just wasn’t consistent enough. Especially with the three turnovers before halftime, there were simply too many sources of error when it came to the playoffs ahead. One snap error, one receiver error and then another quarterback error is just too much. They also failed to set the course for the final quarter. Again and again they gave away the ball instead of securing the game.
In addition, the racing game works little or not at all for a long time. Ezekiel Elliott finished the game with 19 carries and a touchdown, but just 1.9 yards per carry. For a high-paid star like him, that’s a disappointing number.
Analysis: Titans vs. Cowbyos – the tactics chart
- As usual, the Titans played a lot with play-action moves. Without Derrick Henry as a huge threat, the Cowboys were reluctant to react.
- The cowboys also acted again and again with play action. However, it worked here: receivers could be played over and over.
- Despite numerous reinforcements on the defensive front, the Titans continued to pressure the Cowboys without blitzing too much. The base four rush worked. It also helped with the run defense. The linebackers played their gaps very disciplined, so Elliott found little room to break into the inside.
- After halftime, Dallas used receivers and tight ends more frequently to confuse the defense — and successfully. Among other things, a Dalton Schultz touchdown resulted from this adjustment.
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