From the Armchair: Dallas Cowboys, Week 8
Yes, I watched the game in a relatively sober state but, consider that:
* At the end of the 3rd quarter, Dallas lead 13-7. One quarter later, the final was 31-30 in favor of Detroit.
• Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes yet finished the day a tepid 14-30 for just 206 yards
• Of the Cowboys 206 yards of total passing offense, 110 of those came on two plays, a 50 yard TD pass to Dez Bryant and a 60 yard TD toss to Terrence Williams.
• The Dallas defense grabbed four turnovers, three in the red zone, yet still got torched for 623 total yards, 329 yards of which went to Calvin Johnson on 14 receptions.
• Dez Bryant caught three of Tony Romo's 14 completed passes, two for touchdowns (including an incredible one-handed grab against his shoulder, over the defender), yet ended the day throwing a sideline tantrum, apparently over the lack of balls thrown his way.
• Overall, the Cowboys had only two penalties on the day. The last one, however, was a killer, as a third down Dallas offensive holding call stopped the clock with 1:14 left with the Cowboys up by three and Detroit out of timeouts. That left just enough time for ...
• Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee grabbed two interceptions, yet ended the day standing and watching as Lions QB Matthew Stafford snuck the ball into the end zone untouched with 12 seconds left, as Lee and the rest of the Cowboys were caught sleeping, expecting a spike.
In Tony Romo's defense, the Lions defense kept him on heels most of the day and the QB seldom had time to run through his receiver progressions, or for that matter, even stepping into his throws. Though the Lions recorded only four hurries and zero sacks, those numbers are hardly indicative of the pressure Romo was under every time he dropped back. In a perfect world, the Cowboys could have used their running game to alleviate some of that rush but, as has been the pattern for the better part of the season, the Dallas run game could never get in gear, mustering only 62 yards on 26 carries.
Defensively…well…did I mention the Dallas defense gave up 623 yards? Sure, one could look on the bright side and say it was the D and its four turnovers that kept Dallas in this game. But, for the numerologists among us, while the Lions were forced to punt four times, one could also say it was the Cowboys defense's disappearance in the fourth quarter that cost them the game, as Detroit put up 24 points in the last 15 minutes.
So what we can say about this 4-4 Cowboys team at the halfway point of the season? While their record speaks to their mediocrity and wildly inconsistent play, They're still in first place in the brutally bad NFC Easy (sic), but they've yet to beat a team with a winning record and, while they keep finding ways to lose games they could win, they've yet to find a way to win the close ones, as three of their four losses have been by a total of five points.
Next week, its back home to Dallas to face the Vikings.