Tuesday Night Football reaction: The Cowboys are finally finished

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton drops back to pass during loss to Baltimore Ravens
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NFL · 1 year ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The Dallas Cowboys had their last stand on national television in primetime, and they failed spectacularly. Instead of mustering up a great effort they got spanked by the Baltimore Ravens, losing 34-17 on Tuesday Night Football. Mike McCarthy’s first season at the helm has been an abject disaster, and other than the potential return of Dak Prescott there aren’t too many reasons for optimism.

There’s a lot to digest from the game, and without further ado let’s dive into the two biggest takeaways:

Stick a fork in the Cowboys

The Cowboys entered this game at 3-8, but because of the pitiful state of the NFC East they were somehow still alive in the playoff hunt. That’s pretty much over after tonight. A full two games behind the Giants and Washington now with only four left to play, it would take something of a miracle to pull this off.

Unfortunately for Dallas, all of the many issues can’t just be blamed on Prescott’s injury, and that was abundantly clear tonight. The main problems are actually on defense, and they got absolutely embarrassed by Baltimore tonight. Lamar Jackson barely had to do anything as a passer, and in fact attempted only 17 passes, because the Ravens just ran right over them. They finished with 294 rushing yards, averaging a humiliating 7.9 yards per carry.

The guys clearly haven’t bought into new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s system, and at the very least McCarthy needs to let him go at the end of the season. As for the offense, McCarthy deserves his fair share of criticism too. With all the talent they have at the skill positions, the passing game shouldn’t be this bad, even with a banged-up offensive line.

Andy Dalton somehow managed to look much better in Cincinnati despite never having these kinds of weapons, and he’s averaging less than six yards per pass attempt through five starts. It’s probably not a coincidence that Aaron Rodgers is having an all-time year in his second season away from McCarthy. Cowboys fans should start worrying about who they’ll take in the first round of April’s draft, and what they’re going to do about the coaching staff. This season is over.

The Ravens aren’t out of the woods

The Ravens can sleep well and enjoy this victory, but they certainly aren’t out of the woods yet. They didn’t do enough to ease my many concerns about this team, and if anything this game raised even more questions. They’ve been through a lot due to their COVID-19 outbreak, and this team has to be gassed. They’ll be playing on a very short week in a pivotal divisional game against the Browns on Sunday.

Lamar Jackson has definitely regressed as a passer, as his several sailed-throws on Tuesday made clear. The Ravens aren’t going to face a lifeless defense like Dallas’ that they can just run over every week. Jackson has passed for more than 208 yards just once in his last ten games, and even then it was only 249. He had at least 208 yards in nine of his 15 games last year, so this is a clear step back.

As for the defense, they’re far from settled either. Although they’re capable of playing like one of the league’s best units, they’re also dealing with a good amount of injuries and inconsistency. Their vaunted pass-rush didn’t do anything noteworthy against Dallas’ atrocious offensive line, and they only sacked Dalton once.

Calais Campbell certainly didn’t look healthy in his return following a calf injury. They’ve been soft against the run any time they’ve played a team with a competent ground game recently, as we all saw in their losses to the Patriots and Titans when Damien Harris and Derrick Henry each went off for over 120 yards. After the Cleveland game, they’ve got a soft schedule the rest of the way, but as the current ninth-seed in the AFC, I’m not sure it’ll be enough.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.



Bet $5+ On Any NFL Pre-Game ML, Get $200 If Your Bet Wins

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any NFL pre-game ML

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.



Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.



Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get Your First Bet Risk-Free Up To $500

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF



Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Get 5x $100 in Free Bets With PointsBet's Second Chance

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.



Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight


Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS


Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.



Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.



Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.