It has been a rough start to the 2020 NFL season for the Dallas Cowboys and coach Mike McCarthy. It was thought that the core of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot and their loaded wide receiver core would make the Cowboys NFC and Super Bowl contenders and the only thing that was holding them back was former coach Jason Garrett. The logic was pretty simple. Let your overwhelming talent take you to 11-13 wins as long as McCarthy succeeds at not being Garret. But that is not the way that things have gone so far.

With their defense showing a complete inability to stop anybody and their run game going down several notches, the Cowboys have started 1-3 in what was supposed to be a promising season. It felt like all of the team’s issues culminated in a week four 49-38 thrashing by the hands of the Cleveland Browns, of all teams. After the game some of the organizational dysfunction shown through with some contradictory comments about the source of the teams’ troubles.

Safety Xavier Woods defended the defense’s poor performance by saying that it was impossible to give full effort on every play. “Our effort’s been good,” Woods said Wednesday. “I mean, on certain plays some guys, I mean, me included, there may be a lack, but overall the effort is there. I mean, you don’t expect, we’re in the NFL, you don’t expect guys full speed for 70 plays. That’s not possible. But you’re going to push all you can. I mean, we know. You don’t expect a backside corner to make a play on the opposite side. If he’s running full speed the whole time, it’s just not possible, to be honest.”

Linebacker Joe Thomas felt that it had little to do with effort and more on communication. “That [criticism] is outside-the-building noise. It doesn’t really affect us inside the building,” Thomas said. “If there was an effort issue, it would’ve been addressed inside the building. I don’t think that was an issue at all. It’s just communication. When we’re all on the same page and we know what’s going on, we play faster and it looks a lot better.”

Whatever it is that is ailing the Cowboys they will have to fix it fast if they have any hope of making it to the postseason. Jerry Jones is not known as a patient man and with his coaching stint with the Cowboys only one month old it already feels like McCarthy is on the hot seat.

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