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My Quick Thoughts on Cowboys at Lions 2013

October 27, 2013


(GIF originally posted to Deadspin.com by Samer Kalaf)

  • When your opponent has FOUR TIMES as many penalties as you do, you should win the game.
  • When your kicker makes TWO 53-yard field goals, you should win the game.
  • When your quarterback throws THREE TD passes, ZERO interceptions, and does NOT get sacked, you should win the game.
  • When you hold your opponent to SEVEN POINTS in the first three quarters on their home field, you should win the game.
  • When you have TWO 10-point leads in the 4th quarter, you should win the game.
  • When your opponent is on their own 20-yard line trailing by six with 1:02 left to play and NO TIMEOUTS remaining, you should win the game.
  • When you force your opponent to commit FOUR TURNOVERS, you should win the game.
  • When you commit NO TURNOVERS, you should win the game.
  • In fact, teams with a +4 turnover margin were 55-1 since 2011, which means the Lions had LESS THAN A TWO PERCENT CHANCE of winning this game (1.8%, to be exact)…so, HOW IN THE EFF DID THE COWBOYS LOSE THIS GAME?!?
  • The Lions outgained the Cowboys in total yards 623-268, made more than twice as many first downs (29-13), ran 22 more plays (78-56), and went 4-5 in the red zone (compared with Dallas’ 1-1).
  • The one play that will haunt the Cowboys more than any other is Matthew Stafford’s game-winning QB sneak with 0:12 remaining.  The defense was completely asleep and unprepared for anything other than a clock-killing spike.  Of all of the poor defensive plays on the day, this was clearly the most egregious and inexcusable.
  • There is only one wide receiver in the NFL right now more dangerous than Dez Bryant, and he happened to be on the opposing team in this game.  There’s certainly no shame in being second-best when the only guy better than you is Calvin Johnson, and this was “Megatron” at his absolute zenith.  Johnson’s 329 receiving yards were the second-most ever in a single NFL game.  The Cowboys’ injury-depleted defense was absolutely no match for him.
  • As for Dez, his sideline outbursts have never been so volatile or on greater public display.  But regardless of exactly who or what he was mad at, whether it was unrestrained competitive passion or the selfish tantrums of a me-first diva, the bottom line is he is BY FAR the Cowboy’s most important and irreplaceable offensive piece.  The sooner he and his teammates can get on the same page, the better chance this team has to succeed.  It doesn’t matter who’s at fault here, it just needs to get fixed, and FAST.
  • With the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints next up on the schedule, this team is almost certain to be 5-5 at the bye, which means they’ll need to win four of their final six games to finish 9-7.  Can they do it?  Well, there looks to be only one game in their last six they’re a long shot to win, against the Green Bay Packers.  The other five (New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Washington, and Philadelphia Eagles) are all winnable.  So, there’s still reason to be somewhat optimistic.
  • It’s easy to look at things from a negative perspective right now, but consider the number of key injuries the Cowboys have suffered so far this season, and the fact that three of their four losses have been by a total of five points – including two one-point road losses, one of which was to the still-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.  That alone should give you an idea of just how close this team is to being 6-2 or even 7-1 right now.  Like Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are,” and the 2013 Cowboys are certainly no exception.  But this is NOT a bad team, and they still have plenty of season to prove they are better than they’ve shown so far.  Once this season is over, we’ll know exactly how good they are.
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Dahlberg permalink
    October 28, 2013 8:19 am

    The D will certainly get the majority of the blame for that last drive but Romo and the other 10 on that side of the ball had possession twice within the last 3 minutes and couldn’t get a F#$KING first down and eat up clock. The offense, despite missing Austin and Murray should be able to protect a lead and not go 3-and-out as many times as they do. I’ve defended Romo over the years as the Cowboys woes aren’t all his fault. The line is crap and the Defense has regularly given up leads they should have held but to me the offense this year, for all the money they’ve spent on talent, is shit.

    • October 28, 2013 8:22 am

      You’re right, Chugger – the offense definitely shares in the blame. Like you, I am a big Romo defender, but his poor accuracy (very low completion percentage) certainly didn’t help matters yesterday. Yes, he threw three TD passes and had no picks, but he needs to complete a higher percentage of his passes and be more efficient in general. This team has punted 16 times in their last two games.

  2. Phil Arnold permalink
    October 27, 2013 9:10 pm

    By point differential, the Cowboys should probably be 6-2. Another key,legs tangling up and the Cowboys getting an interference call against Durham, and Terrence having the same thing happen to him with a no call. Mistakes, bad breaks, injuries, and still they lost by one point. That’s crazy!

    • October 27, 2013 9:14 pm

      It’s definitely massively frustrating, but I see just as many (if not more) reasons for optimism than thinking the season is headed due south.

  3. October 27, 2013 9:09 pm

    Wow – this is really optimistic for you! Good job Bob! (But it was a heart breaker).

    • October 27, 2013 9:13 pm

      I think it must be because I didn’t see the game live. I went back and watched it on DVR after the fact, even though I already knew the outcome. It allowed me to observe from a less emotional point of view than normal.

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