It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys’ offense must start turning more drives into touchdowns if they want to stay in playoff contention down the stretch.
The team discussed the subject once again on WedCnesday, two days after they managed only one touchdown on 12 offensive possessions against the Redskins. The Cowboys had only one touchdown in 10 possessions in their previous game against the Panthers on Thanksgiving.
Over the last two games, in other words, the Cowboys have had 22 offensive possessions that have turned into a total of two touchdowns and six field goals.
“We’ve got to continue to work hard about converting these field goals into touchdowns and being better in the red zone, being better at situational football, especially on third down,” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “Those are things that every week come up and I think if you can be good in situational football, you’re going to give your team a chance to win each and every week.”
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The Cowboys had one particular drive against the Redskins where they should have found the end zone. Cassel connected with Dez Bryant for a 42-yard completion, setting up a first-and-goal from the 3.
Cassel tried to hit Bryant in the end zone on the first down play, and then Darren McFadden rushed to the 1-yard line on second down. On third down, the Cowboys again went to McFadden, who lost a yard.
The Cowboys settled for a field goal to tie the game at 9-9 when they very easily could have taken the lead.
“We’ve got to do a better job in the situational moments to be able to put seven points on the board rather than come across with three, especially when we were down on the 3-yard line or the 2-yard line after the long throw to Dez,” Cassel said. “We’ve got to a find way to punch that in and change the momentum of the game.”
It comes with even more importance this week against Green Bay. The Packers have an offense that is capable of putting up points in a hurry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, which means Cassel and the Cowboys must keep pace with them to stay within striking distance.
“It’s something that we definitely talk about and you have to address, especially with a team that has a high-powered offense,” Cassel said. “But every week it’s important, not just this week. But I definitely say against a guy like Aaron and that offense, you’ve got to try to convert those into touchdowns rather than walk away with three points.”