As most Cowboys fans watched Washington through the team’s sleepwalk at the end of a 26–6 season, players and coaches found themselves even more at a loss for words.
“Not good at all,” said head coach Mike McCarthy to open his postgame press conference. “We played badly.”
Ezekiel Elliott said, “Very difficult.”
“If we do it again,” remarked guard Zack Martin, “we’ll be sitting home next week.”
“I honestly don’t know where you can start,” offered linebacker Micah Parsons.
Owner Jerry Jones told reporters, “It was as completely butt-kicking as anything we’ve done this year.”
“It was terrible, guys,” McCarthy went on to reporters. “I don’t know how to keep saying it: very disappointing, poor thing. You guys have big vocabularies; go for it.”
Dak Prescott instead opted for a one-word summary that cannot be reprinted on a reputable website.
It was the only thing he was accurate on for the day.
45.8 passer rating for Prescott. just 64 team rushing yards. Four out of 18 in third place. Averaged 2.8 yards per offensive play. Ten punishments. Don’t play longer than 15 yards. Getting out by a rookie on his first start. Only one offensive series with two-score plays. Giving up about five yards per play. Penalty on half a dozen. a missed extra point, a muffed punt, and a fumble by punterFor God’s sake.
Pick a state or category, and Dallas is very unlikely. There is a lot to learn for the Cowboys from what was undoubtedly their worst performance of the year.
Jones said, “We suck that whole week.” “And if that doesn’t get you ready to go in six, seven days, nothing else will.”
The Cowboys will certainly need to get over their Landover lemons quickly, but McCarthy wants to make sure the lesson is learned.
“I’m not a burn-the-tape guy,” McCarthy explained. “So we’re not going to brush it off and not be accountable for it. Let’s get it real clear. We’ll look at it on the plane, we’ll look at it on the bus ride, and we’ll make sure it’s cleaned up.”
Perhaps the most significant concern was Prescott’s 14-of-27 passing day that included his career-worst 15th interception since October 2020 and yet another pick-six (his third in four games).
“Totally not who we are,” Prescott said at his Sunday press conference. “I don’t think I’ve seen us like this in the last two years.”
The veteran quarterback started the 2022 campaign with one of his worst stats ever. He booked it with one that was even worse, with his lowest completion percentage (37.84%) as a pro.
“It’s not about a man,” McCarthy pointed out. You can’t blame any one person after seeing our aggressive performance. There is a lot to visit.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that ultimately, the Week 18 loss doesn’t matter. Based on wins by the Eagles and 49ers, Dallas remains where they started Sunday: the NFC’s No. 5 seed and locked in a first-round rematch with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
“I’m thrilled that we don’t have to go out there and look at the Philadelphia game and look at the San Francisco game and say, ‘Boy, did we mess up,’” Jones said.
But instead of setting some momentum to play their best football or even make it to the playoffs, as they’ve talked about all week, the Cowboys are suddenly scrambling for answers, wondering if Sunday will be a one-off. The discrepancy was…or the other shoe dropping on the escalating problems that have been plaguing the team for weeks.
When it came to changing things dramatically before Monday night, the Cowboys had a lot to say.
“I think you can make a case,” Jones said of the humbling loss that possibly the team needed to go into the tournament. “I’m not so sure what The most motivating thing is the week before you go there.
“I guess everyone has their downfalls,” Parsons said. “And every film is a rise. So hopefully this was our downfall so we can get up and get it together next week.”
“I guess it’s like a lot of things in life: When you get kicked in the ass or punched in the mouth, you have a chance to respond. And I have a lot of faith in my soccer team.” that we will respond,” McCarthy said.
So let these words be the last on the loss of Week 18, which will (hopefully) be forgotten, which will not be spoken of as one.
Because when he needed a thesaurus to describe just how awful their Sunday sweep of Washington was… By Monday, the Cowboys will have already turned the page.
“It’s about defeating Tampa,” assured McCarthy. “When those wheels touch, that’s what we’ll be thinking.”