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October 15, 2012

Just CHILL: Where is the column for moral victories in the NFL standings? Cowboys and their fool's gold

Clarence Hill

Just CHILL: Where is the column for moral victories in the NFL standings?

 Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones went on the 105.3 the Fan Monday morning and reinforced the fool's gold that was fed to us in the locker room Sunday after the 31-29 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“If we keep playing like we played, you are going to win more often than you lose,” Jones said. “Our team played well. But it’s not good enough. We got to win these games

"We are behind the eight ball, but if we keep playing like that, good things are going to happen for us.”

There was the usual qualifier that the Cowboys weren’t happy with the loss, but it was followed up by positivity about how well they played and how well they fought.

This is the NFL where the bottom line is the bottom line.

Yes, the Cowboys did fight through some adversity. Yes, they battled back to put themselves in position to win the game at the end.

What’s also true is that the adversity was mostly self-created, which has been the story all season for the Cowboys.

If they continue to have unforgiveable breakdowns on special teams and continue to commit penalties at an alarming rate, they will lose more than they win no matter how hard they compete and fight.

The Cowboys committed 13 penalties for the third time in five games this season. That is not a recipe for winning football.

You don’t get credit for trying hard and fighting to the end in the NFL. You get credit for winning.

The Cowboys gave up an NFL-record 108-yard kickoff return to Jacoby Jones, who literally went untouched from one end zone to another.

Combine that with a Felix Jones fumble on a kickoff return in Seattle, a blocked punt in Seattle on a missed block by Dan Connor and a near blocked punt against Tampa Bay that caused punter Chris Jones to be injured and the continued special teams woes will cause you to lose more than you win.

And that’s before you even get into the poor clock management at the end of the game by coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo that prevented the Cowboys from running another play to possibly get in position for a closer field goal for Dan Bailey.

The Cowboys have worked on two-minute situations dating to organized team activities and minicamp.

They should have already given Romo two or three plays to call following the improbable recovery of the onside kick.

Were they caught off guard?

Did they think the game was over and not have a game plan ready?

I hope not. I’m going to give them more credit than that.

But everybody on the field should have had a sense of urgency about the situation to get the plays called and to get back to the line to get going again.

Having receivers Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree so far down the field that they couldn’t get back for the Cowboys to run another play after the Dez Bryant catch is mind boggling.

And then there’s the double whammy of having a penalty-prone team. The Cowboys have committed so many pre-snap penalties that in the end Garrett felt it was better to take a 51-yarder and not rush things just in case they got pushed back further with another flag.

And I haven’t even gotten to a defense that gave up touchdown drives of 79, 90 and 77 yards _ two of which came after a Cowboys scored and the other came after an interception.

So sure, you like the way the Cowboys ran the ball for the first time all season _ albeit against a defense that’s all name and no production. The Ravens run defense ranks 26th in the league. But they are first in attempts allowed as teams want to run against the Ravens, averaging 35.5 carries a game.

And yes, you like how the Cowboys fought back from adversity to put themselves in position to win.

I’m with Jerry Jones in thinking that Dan Bailey makes that kick more often than not.

But don’t fool yourself into believing the Cowboys played well enough to win and will win most of the time if they play like that -- not with the repeated penalties and errors on special teams.

What’s the definition of insanity?

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Remember they Cowboys are in the midst of their toughest stretch of the season with three more road games among their next four _ at Carolina next weekend, a home game against the New York Giants, who have never lost at Cowboys Stadium, and before playing at Atlanta and at Philadelphia.

Also remember Garrett is just 3-7 in his past 10 games as Cowboys coach. Two of those wins have come against Tampa Bay.

Drastic changes in they way they perform on the field will have to be made if they hope to build on the Ravens’ effort.

Do you still feel good about the Cowboys going forward after Sunday’s moral victory?

Where is the column for that in the NFL standings anyway?





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Clarence...the players should have had more of a sense of urgency to get back to the line of scrimmage after that last pass to Dez. But don't try and say you are giving Garrett and Romo more credit for not knowing what to do in that situation. After all that happened thru out that game. They were in position to steal a win no one thought they had a chance at winning. That loss goes directly on the shoulders of Garrett and Romo. I put it 50/50. Garrett for being in over his head as a head coach. And Romo..especially Romo..with him being a ten year veteran quarterback who should have known whether to spike the ball or call time to set up another play to try and get closer for a shorter field goal try. This is the second year in a row that Garrett and Romo has gone brain dead in the closing moments of a possible Cowboys win. How much leeway can you media types up there give those two? You media types should be coming down hard on those two after what happened last year. This isn't the first time Garrett and Romo's game management has been questioned. For two guys who have been together for so long. This is unacceptible. You can't be that stupid with plenty of time on the clock and a timeout left to not be able to run another play or two.

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