Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports activities

The Dallas Cowboys are finished.

Aaron Rodgers‘ epic final-minute comeback in Week 5 to steal victory away from the Cowboys was the physique blow that despatched Dallas reeling, and the reinstatement of Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-recreation suspension is the haymaker that may ship them to the mat for good – even when takes a couple of extra weeks for Jerry Jones’ membership to understand it is falling, dazed, and lifeless.

Sure, the Cowboys are extra than simply their star operating again. Dak Prescott has been enjoying sensation soccer over the previous three video games following a sluggish begin to his sophomore marketing campaign and Demarcus Lawrence has emerged as a successor to DeMarcus Ware after years of looking for a brand new elite move-rusher.

Nevertheless, Lawrence is a part of a protection that is given up 35 factors in again-to-again video games, each of which the Cowboys had an incredible shot of profitable. It stays to be seen how Prescott handles the load of all the offensive workload as defenses focus solely on stopping him and the passing recreation.

Some might level to Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden and argue they’re able to strong manufacturing in Elliott’s absence. However even when the Cowboys’ vaunted offensive line was enjoying as much as its typical commonplace, there is a purpose why Morris has simply eight carries in 4 video games and McFadden has zero: neither is dynamic sufficient to warrant taking touches away from Elliott, and cannot be anticipated to be distinction-makers now.

So, Dallas sits at 2-three, gazing up in confusion on the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles, trapped in a spiraling nationwide anthem controversy which has been fueled, in fact, by Jones’ ego, and with a brutal six-recreation slate upcoming with out their star participant.

Cowboys’ subsequent six video games Report Run protection rank
at San Franciso 49ers zero-5 nineteenth
at Washington Redskins 2-2 tenth
vs. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 5-zero twentieth
at Atlanta Falcons three-1 eleventh
vs. Philadelphia Eagles 5-1 2nd
vs. Los Angeles Chargers 1-four thirty second

The 49ers could also be winless, however they are not your common zero-5 workforce. San Francisco has misplaced its final 4 video games by a mixed eleven factors, and its final two defeats got here in extra time. A signature win is not far off for the 49ers.

After San Francisco, the Cowboys have 4 video games that they probably would not have been favored in even with Elliott out there.

The Redskins performed the Chiefs – one of the best staff in soccer – shut in Week 5; Kansas Metropolis’s versatile and explosive offense ought to tear aside the Cowboys’ secondary; the Falcons are a far cry from their 2016 type however are all the time robust at residence; and the Eagles appeared like the most effective workforce within the NFC in Thursday’s win over the Carolina Panthers.

Merely put, the Cowboys might be fortunate to be 5-6 when Elliott returns from his ban.

And in a convention that appears set to demand at the least 10 wins for its wild-card spots – thirteen of the NFC’s sixteen groups enter Week 6 with a minimum of two wins and eight with no less than three – will probably be a gap even Elliott will not have the ability to dig Dallas out of.