What a week for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott finally got tackled by the judicial system and began his six-game suspension. Jerry Jones and Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, on opposite sides of an ownership feud regarding Roger Goodell’s contract, avoided each other before the game. And then the Cowboys had to face the Falcons.
Dallas took a quick 7-0 lead on a Dak Prescott touchdown run following a Xavier Woods interception. From there, it was a disaster all the way to the final gun for the Cowboys in a 27-7 loss that dropped them to 5-4, three games south of the Eagles, who they meet next Sunday night in Arlington, Texas.
Last month, the Cowboys were 2-3 after a loss to the Packers and had equaled their 2016 loss total a mere five weeks into the new season.
Then came a bye week, after which they’ve won three consecutive games. What’s eye-opening about the state of the 5-3 Cowboys is what Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali told the Dallas Morning News after Dallas defeated the Chiefs last week.
“I think that’s the best team in the league,” Hali said. “Credit to the team. They played really well and that’s a really good team … 13 wins last year.”
Considering the Eagles have the best record in the NFL at 8-1 and lead the NFC East, those were some strong words from Hali.
Did you realize the Dolphins are 13-4 in their past 17 regular season games? Adam Gase knows what he’s doing. Losing Jay Cutler won’t hurt, given Matt Moore’s ability to step in and run the offense.
31. Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle, Dolphins (24): Despite concerns the mercurial star might become the next Albert Haynesworth and coast after getting a six-year, $114 million contract, Suh was steady and productive for Miami last season with six sacks and 16 starts. But he’s still as volatile as ever, which means you never known when he’s going to decide to stomp on an opponent’s leg (or other body part).
There was no more upsetting story to come out of last Sunday’s games than what occurred with the Steelers and their offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva in that botched pregame national anthem maneuver in Chicago.
The most disappointing element was not Steelers coach Mike Tomlin keeping his players in the locker room during the anthem, it was the embarrassing fallout from Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who toured several times in Afghanistan, standing alone outside the tunnel in Chicago with his hand over his heart — then having to explain himself afterward.
That Villanueva was left feeling guilty about letting his teammates down was preposterous. You can make a pretty sound argument that he’s done more for his country than every player not just on his team but every NFL team combined.