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Sport DeMarcus Lawrence's assessment of Cowboys' loss to Eagles: 'Talent without direction is nothing at all'

04:45  24 december  2019
04:45  24 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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“ Talent without a direction is nothing at all ,” Lawrence said. He was responding to a question about why a seemingly more talented Dallas team couldn’t get the job done — the Cowboys didn’t even score a touchdown — against an injury-ridden Eagles team with the chance to clinch the NFC East on

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FRISCO, Texas — In the aftermath of the Dallas Cowboys’ 17-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, a response from Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence described how so many view the dismantling of Dallas’ playoff hopes this season.

Jason Garrett talking on a cell phone: Jason Garrett looks on during Sunday's loss to the Eagles.© Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports Jason Garrett looks on during Sunday's loss to the Eagles.

“Talent without a direction is nothing at all,” Lawrence said.

He was responding to a question about why a seemingly more talented Dallas team couldn’t get the job done — the Cowboys didn’t even score a touchdown — against an injury-ridden Eagles team with the chance to clinch the NFC East on the line. Lawrence, like several of his teammates, was searching for answers.

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“I already said I was pissed,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said in exasperation, at one point. “Really pissed.”

The disappointment continued, answers to the struggles plaguing the Cowboys far less apparent.

A day later, after the Cowboys had finally repaired their plane and returned to home, answers to why a seemingly talented collection of players had dropped its eighth loss remained few and far between.

Lawrence clarified his comments about direction.

“I don’t feel like the direction is lost, I feel like sometimes the focus is lost,” Lawrence said on a conference call with reporters at The Star. “Everybody on this team, everybody in this fan base need to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves: 'Are they really here for the Cowboys or are they really here to just place blame on each other?'”

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DeMarcus Lawrence has always spoken his mind. The Cowboys have two light practices this week, and they’ll be off all weekend. Lawrence tore his labrum two years ago, and he has been on the Cowboys ’ injury report ever since he aggravated the problem in the loss to Houston a few weeks ago.

The Cowboys are already without Randy Gregory for the first four games of the season.

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The Cowboys are not mathematically eliminated from playoffs thanks to a weak NFC East. If the Eagles lose to the Giants in Week 17, and the Cowboys defeat a Redskins team without Dwayne Haskins, Dallas will host a playoff game. But a team with the league’s No. 1 offense and No. 11 defense has not won in consecutive weeks in more than three weeks. Dallas defeated just one team all season with a winning record: the 8-7 Los Angeles Rams.

The 44-21 performance Dec. 15 seemed resounding. Dallas dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for more than 36 minutes as both Elliott and rookie Tony Pollard crossed 100-yard rushing plateaus. At last, Dallas had a kicker in Kai Forbath making his field goals (Brett Maher was waived after missing 10). Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee intercepted Jared Goff, despite Dallas ranking second worst in the league on interception percentage.

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The Dallas Cowboys are in the perfect position to play the Eagles in Philadelphia in their final The Dallas Cowboys have said that Tyron Smith will be fine when it comes to the playoffs. Cowboys Defense Resting Key Contributors. The Philadelphia Eagles will play this season finale with a strong

Then Dallas traveled to Philadelphia with a chance to clinch the NFC East. The offense couldn’t score a touchdown in 60 minutes nor could the offense secure a takeaway all day. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was left disappointed, evaluating his team and coach’s future.

Is that hard for players to see?

“I mean, it’s hard,” Lawrence said. But “he’s not the only one getting criticized. We’re all getting criticized. It’s a team sport.”

The Cowboys still have a chance to sneak into the postseason in Week 17. Giants rookie Daniel Jones is coming off a confidence-building 41-35 overtime win, in which Jones threw five touchdowns against the Redskins and running back Saquon Barkley cobbled together 279 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.

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So “I got hope,” Lawrence said. “If Saquon Barkley plays like he did the other night, it ain’t no telling what might happen.”

But morale at Cowboys headquarters is sliding, from questions around play-calling (the Cowboys stand by their decision to have Amari Cooper sidelined on the final offensive play of the game, a 4th-and-8 situation in the red zone) to players admitting their energy hasn’t been what it needs to be on gameday. The front office wonders what happened to a group they had Super Bowl aspirations for.

Garrett, on the final year of his contract, knows he might have one game left on his 10-year tenure as Dallas’ head coach. For now, though, that’s his focus. For one more week, at least, he must give talent like Lawrence direction.

Will his players be locked in to host Washington?

“They better be,” Garrett said.

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DeMarcus Lawrence's assessment of Cowboys' loss to Eagles: 'Talent without direction is nothing at all'

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