LANDOVER, Md. — Sigh.
There is really nothing else to do or say about the Dallas Cowboys now, aside from sending up a few prayers for quarterback Andy Dalton, who was briefly knocked out cold in the third quarter following a hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic.
Dalton got up on his own and walked gingerly to the locker room with the help of two Cowboys staffers.
Bostic penalized for an illegal hit and ejected from a game that was already essentially over with Washington leading 22-3 en route to the 25-3 victory and the Cowboys looking and unresponsive from the outset.
It’s the team’s second consecutive double-digit loss since franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was lost for the season with a compound fracture and dislocation in his right ankle.
After last Monday’s 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys endured a week of frustrations and finger pointing with owner Jerry Jones defending coach Mike McCarthy from some anonymous quotes from players who said they had lost faith in the staff six games into their first season.
Instead being motivated into an inspired performance, the Cowboys followed with their worst performance of the season.
And that was before Dalton was injured, giving way to rookie seventh round pick Ben DiNucci, whose first few plays in the NFL included two fumbles, two sacks, a 32-yard completion to Amari Cooper and a two-yard run by Ezekiel Elliott.
The game was long lost before DiNucci took the field as it started going downhill from the outset with a sack of Dalton and fumble on the team’s opening series.
It was recovered in the end zone by tight end Dalton Schultz for a safety.
When Dalton threw an interception that bounced off the hands of Elliott to kill a promising drive right before the end of the half, it marked the sixth straight game for the Cowboys to lose two or more turnovers in a game.
It was already after they had managed to trail by 14 or more points for the sixth straight again.
Again, before Prescott was injured, the Cowboys managed to battle back in the games and make them competitive.
The past two weeks, they have shown no fight to battle back.
Most disappointing, is that the lack of competitive fire against Washington came after a week of turmoil. If McCarthy hasn’t lost the team, he certainly hasn’t been able to reach them.
A lot of the blame on offense can be attributed to injuries. In addition to Prescott, the team faced Washington without four offensive lineman expected to start the season in tackles La’el Collins and Tyron Smith, center Joe Looney and guard Zack Martin.
The backups were no match for a dominant Washington defensive line featuring four first-round picks.
But poor play on offense included Elliott dropping a pitch and being part of the Dalton interception and rookie receiver dropping two passes and killing a drive a false start.
The defense gets credit for finally keeping an opponent under 34 points, stopping a streak of six straight games.
But the run defense, which ranks second to last in the NFL, continued to give up yards by the bushel.
Rookie Antonio Gibson rushed 20 times for 128 yards. It marked the first time this season for Washington to have a rusher with more than 60 yards in a game.
And quarterback Kyle Allen tossed touchdown passes of 52 yards to a wide-open Terry McLaurin and 15-yards to Logan Thomas.
The Cowboys (2-5) dropped to a second-place tie in the NFC East with Washington. They play at the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1) next Sunday in hopes of snapping a three-game losing streak and regaining their foothold in the race.
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