We all knew the Cowboys were going to be vulnerable at the wide receiver position. We did not think the Cowboys would be embarrassing at the wide receiver position.
There is not a single group of wide receivers in the NFL worse than that of the Dallas Cowboys.
The only thing that saved the Cowboys from cutting all of their receivers on Sunday night were three brilliant goal line stands against the Texans offense and their brain-dead offensive coordinator and head coach.
Those three stands kept the game close enough for the Cowboys to stay around despite their puny passing attack that now must rely on tight end Geoff Swaim to stretch the field.
Dak did not have a great game on Sunday night, but his receivers are either terrible, or they hate his guts and want to see him fail. They do not hate Dak Prescott.
One week after the Cowboys made running back Ezekiel Elliott their primary option at receiver, the offense had to adjust to an opponent that made sure Zeke was not the second coming of Michael Irvin.
Against the Texans, no Cowboys wide receiver could replace their running back as a top pass catcher.
Not Allen Hurns. Not Deonte Thompson. Not Cole Beasley. Not Michael Gallup. Not Tavon Austin.
And don’t give me some garbage about how new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal was ever going to coach this crew into anymore than what they are: Inadequate.
In the Tweet of President Donald J. Trump, “#SAD”
Twice in the first half Dak had completions only to see Gallup fail to use his body to shield away his defender on consecutive passes that should have been large gains.
Gallup is a rookie, so maybe he will learn but this team does not exactly have a lot of room to give away plays.
“For me, I don’t get those opportunities all the time; I’ve got to make them,” Gallup said. “There is not any more pressure on me, that’s just horrible on me. If we get three or four passes a game, I’ve got to catch them. That’s on me. I’m a wide receiver and I need to catch the ball.”
Late in the first half, with the Cowboys at the Texans’ 40 and driving to score, Dak’s pass went in and out of the hands of Austin that wound up as an interception.
In the second half, with the Cowboys nursing a 13-10 lead, Dak threw less-than-great pass for Thompson that he could not catch. Naturally, the pass was intercepted.
Early in the fourth quarter, on a third down, Dak narrowly escaped a crushing sack by Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to throw a catachable pass that would have been good for a first down. Naturally, receiver Thompson dropped the ball.
On the ensuing drive, Hopkins made the type of catch with his hands, not his arms and body, that high caliber NFL receivers make. The kind of catches that Cowboys receivers have shown, repeatedly, through five games this season they cannot convert.
Dak’s best deep threats were not his wide receivers, but rather his tight end. In the first quarter, he found Swaim for a 43-yard play that was wonderfully designed and executed.
Toss in a 32-yard catch by Rico Gathers, and that was about it for the vertical passing game.
The passing game would not return until midway through the fourth quarter, when Dak executed another Tony Romo-like escape from a death sack to launch a heave that was intended for two potential targets. In a shocking turn of events, Dak’s receiver actually made a play when Austin made a 44-yard basket catch.
A few plays later reality returned when Gallup dropped a hard catch on the sidelines that would have been a first down.
The Cowboys are 2-3, and this team’s biggest problem is still its biggest problem. They don’t have wide receivers, and there is one currently available hawking his wares on Twitter seemingly all the time.
Again, Dak wasn’t great and he missed some throws, but he was not helped at all by “The Hot Tra$h.”