While the Cowboys defense _ which is now on pace to give up more yards than it did last year when it set a team record for yards allowed _ is primarily to blame for the loss to the Chargers, the offense should not be absolved.
Certainly, quarterback Tony Romo and offense had limited possessions in the second half because the Chargers controlled the ball and the game. But they also didn’t make any plays when they did have the ball.
Receiver Dez Bryant had six receptions for 81 yards in game, including two first-half touchdowns. But he also had a critical drop on third down in the third quarter to end a Cowboys drive into Chargers territory.
Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten also had a dropped pass on third down in the fourth quarter that would have put the Cowboys in scoring range.
Rookie receiver Terrance Williams ended the Cowboys comeback hopes with a fumble at the goal line with 2:42 left.
“It’s a tough one to take right now,” said Romo who completed 27 of 37 passes for 244 yards. “The drives come down to we had too many missed opportunities more than anything. We had a few different times we could’ve moved the chains, where we didn’t necessarily just throw and catch as well as we needed to and that hurt. A couple of the penalties put us back. And then we obviously didn’t finish on that last opportunity in the end zone.”
Said coach Jason Garrett: "Again, you’ve got to make those plays. Those aren’t easy plays. Those aren’t easy throws and easy catches, but those guys are capable of making them. Again, I keep saying this, but in a game like this, it comes back down to those kind of plays, when we’re not slowing them down and we have to match them and every one of those allows you to maintain a possession by converting a third down or putting you in a more favorable third down type situation."