B- Rush offense: The running game was average at best to start the season with Joseph Randle heading a committee approach. He was released because of personal issues, poor performance and NFL discipline, allowing Darren McFadden to emerge. No more committee, just a heavy dose of McFadden. The Cowboys have the eighth-best run offense in the league and are averaging 4.5 yards per carry. In the past three games, McFadden has rushed 76 times for 333 yards, a 4.4 yards per carry. The running game has been helped by the insertion of rookie La’el Collins at left guard. He is a physical mauler who specializes in the pancake block.
F Pass offense: The Cowboys have lost six consecutive games since Tony Romo went down with a fractured collarbone. Blame the inability to get a decent passing game on Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. The Cowboys have the 24th-ranked pass offense in the league. They have only nine passing touchdowns. Romo had three touchdown passes in the first two games. The Cowboys have had a combined six since he went down. The absence of Dez Bryant for six games with a fractured foot has been a big factor. No other receiver stepped up to make plays on a consistent basis.
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D- Run defense: The Cowboys had hoped to be better against the run, especially when middle linebacker Rolando McClain returned from a four-game suspension. He has not given them the physical presence they had hoped he would and Sean Lee has not been able to stay on the field. Combine that with average play from tackles Tyrone Crawford and Nick Hayden and the inability to consistently set the edge by ends DeMarcus Lawrence, Jeremy Mincey and Greg Hardy and the run defense has been lacking. The Cowboys are 18th in rush yards allowed per game and 13th in yards allowed per carry at 4.2.
D- Pass defense: End Greg Hardy has four sacks in four games, but the Cowboys don’t get to the quarterback enough to impact games and force turnovers. The Cowboys rank 11th in yards allowed, but they are 14th in yards per attempt. They are tied for last with three interceptions. The Cowboys need more from tackle Crawford, who was given a big-money contract extension before the season because he was considered an impact player in the middle. He has not lived up to expectations.
D- Special teams: Dan Bailey hasn’t missed all season. He has few equals as a kicker and might be considered the best in the league if he didn’t have the advantage of an indoor stadium. Chris Jones has been solid on punts. But the return game has been nonexistent as well as a detriment. The Cowboys gave up a 100-yard kickoff return that proved to be the game-winner against the New York Giants. They have allowed a blocked punt and muffed a punt.
D- Coaching: The Cowboys have lost six consecutive games for the first time since they went 1-15 in 1989. The offense has not been able to find a rhythm or a win without quarterback Tony Romo. The defense can’t get to the quarterback on a consistent basis, doesn’t take the ball away and hasn’t made plays or stops when it matters most. The buck stops at the top.