It was only a matter of time in a season that is quickly going down the toilet that the Dallas Cowboys defense would poop their pants. That was the case against the Atlanta Falcons as the Cowboys lost 19-13 in Atlanta.
The regular season is half over and the Cowboys are 3-5.
The second half of the Cowboys schedule is so bad you can't necessarily write this team off, but ... to count on them to be able to do anything over a sustained period of time is difficult.
1. The defense.
The Falcons ran for 100 yards in the second half, and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons gained 453 yards, and receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White each had more than 100 yards receiving. Running back Michael Turner ran for 102 yards, nearly all after halftime.
The Falcons were 7-for-14 on 3rd downs, and the Cowboys generated no turnovers.
Every time they needed a stop they didn't, and this unit has not made many plays this season.
2. Orlando Scandrick.
After the Cowboys cut the deficit to 16-13 with 5:21 remaining, the defense had the Falcons facing a 3rd & 6 from its own 24. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers took a short pass, broken an arm tackle by Scandrick, and ran 31 yards for a first down.
A few minutes later, the Falcons faced a 3rd & 8 from the Cowboys 43. Scandrick was called for holding to give Atlanta an automatic first down on a play that had been an incompletion.
4. Jerry Jones.
Tells NBC's Bob Costas he would fire himself as GM, if he weren't the team president and owner. I would eat all of my vegetables, but I don't.
5. Tony Romo.
Nothing on the stat sheet said he did a thing wrong. He was 25-of-35 for 321 yards with 1 TD, no picks. one sack.
The team was 0-for-2 in the redzone in the first half and had to settle for field goals when touchdowns were the only way.
He was a victim of some crucial drops by Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin, but when it comes down it he was not as good as Atlanta's Matt Ryan.
6. Dez Bryant.
No punt returns.
What a waste.
7. Jason Witten.
He is now the all-time franchise leader in receptions, and a likely Hall of Famer. The Cowboys are going to waste this brilliant career on a bunch of 8-8-type seasons.
8. Bruce Carter.
The only noteworthy player on the entire defense. The inside linebacker made some big plays and continues to show that, if he stays healthy, the Cowboys have a serious player inside.
9. Cowboys running game.
Is dead without DeMarco Murray, who remains out with a bad foot.
The running game against Atlanta was better than it was last week against the Giants, but ...
Felix Jones and Lance Dunbar ran it 17 times for 65 yards. That's it.
This thing is all on Romo.
The Cowboys are on pace for an impressive 6-10 record, but that's not going to happen. The remaining schedule is bad - one opponent has a winning record - so nine wins is still a possibility. Below is the Cowboys' remaining schedule:
at Philly (3-4)
v. Browns (2-7)
v. Washington (3-6)
v. Philly (3-4)
at Cincy (3-5)
v. Pittsburgh (5-3)
v. New Orleans (2-5)
at Washington (3-6)
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