DETROIT, Michigan - We are not there yet, but we are approaching an uncomfortable juncture for former first round pick, tackle Tyron Smith. The Cowboys awful offensive performance in each of the last two weeks is not on Smith, but no team with such a poor rushing game and a quarterback who had no time against the Lions has a great left tackle.
The Cowboys average less than 4 yards per carry for the season; in the past two games the team has averaged 2.8 and 2.4 yards per carry, respectively.
Making it all much worse, for the second time this season Smith had a giant screwup late that changed the game. On a third down play, it was Smith's holding penalty that stopped the clock in Detroit that helped the Lions regain possession with enough time for their game-winning drive.
Smith would not speak to reporters after the game.
Now, the way the Lions and Calvin Johnson moved the ball they could have regained possession at their own 3-yard line with five seconds remaining and still won on a Megatron catch.
If you remember, it was Smith who was pushed back into the pocket late in the fourth quarter against the Broncos; Romo stepped on the back of Smith’s foot, it affected his throw which resulted in the game-deciding interception.
The Cowboys' offensive line has been pushed around at least twice this season - at Kansas City and at Detroit. Smith has not been very good in either loss.
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Smith is not a bust. He is not necessarily bad. He's not a star.
ONE MORE THING ON MEGATRON
Not sure why the Cowboys used single coverage on Lions' receiver Calvin Johnson for most of the game. It may not have mattered.
Entering the game, Megatron had 492 receiving yards in six games this season.
He had 329 yards on Sunday.
YOU WANTED TURNOVERS
The Cowboys defense was asked to create turnovers, which it is doing. How this team forced four turnovers, and enjoyed a 4-0 turnover margin, and lost is as hard as it is impressive. It’s hard to force four turnovers. It’s damn near impossible to force four turnovers and still lose a football game in the National Football Leauge.
The last time a team did this, finish 4-0 in turnovers, according to STATS, was the Patriots against the Fish in 2007.
Your Cowboys pulled it off.
The Cowboys have forced 19 turnovers this season compared to 16 in 2012.
The team is plus-9 in turnover margin.
They are 4-4.
This is the one stat that says if you are plus you are a winner.
Only the Cowboys.
Imagine what a beat down Sunday would have been without those turnovers.
THIS AIN’T 2007
The last time the Cowboys visited the Lions was Decemeber 9, 2007. The Cowboys were brutal that day against a bad Lions team, but that was a magical regular season. The Cowboys had four turnovers that day, but rallied for a 28-27 win in the final minute as Jason Witten had the best day of his life. Witten had 15 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown, and the Cowboys improved to 12-1.
After the game, the team celebrated in the locker room winning the NFC East title by wearing new NFC East champions hats and t-shirts. It all went to hell shortly thereafter when the team flopped at home in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs by squandering home field advantage.
IT’S OK JASON
The locker rooms at Ford Field are about 50 feet apart, which allows for the teams to be rather close when exiting the field. After the game, Lions linebacker Rocky McIntosh could see Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as he down the carpet towards the locker room. McIntosh taunted Witten with, “It’s OK Jason! It’s OK Jason!”
Witten elected not to respond.
Don’t be fooled – Witten can talk a little junk during a game so McIntosh’s words were likely in retaliation.
SUH COMES LOOKING FOR FREE
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, so when he came close to the Cowboys locker room and shouted, “Hey, Free! Hey, Free!” the thought was it was go time.
Cowboys right tackle Doug Free was already in the locker room and could not hear Suh.
It could not have been that bad; Suh exchanged some nice pleasantries with Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher as he approached the locker room doors.
And Suh exchanged a good-game hug with guard Brian Waters.
The way Suh initially sounded was not pleasant.
JOSEPH RANDLE AIN’T GOT IT
The Cowboys are 1-1 without running back DeMarco Murray in the lineup, who missed his second consecutive game on Sunday.
His backups are just that – backups. Granted, they have not had massive holes to run through against either the Eagles or the Lions, but they should be a little better than this.
Randle ran 14 times for 26 yards on Sunday. He ran 19 times for 65 yards one week ago at Philly.
That's not good enough.
DeMarco can't return soon enough.
SEAN LEE >>>>> BRUCE CARTER
I didn’t even know Bruce Carter was on the team Sunday. A guy who was supposed to be coming into his own and playing in a scheme that features his position has been a massive disappointment, both on Sunday and this season. He ranks third on the team in tackles, but impact plays are non-existent.
Sean Lee, however, is this team’s best defensive player, ahead of Jason
He had two interceptions to increase his team-leading total to four.
He made some big stops inside the redzone as well. He also had the man parts necessary to call this group out when he said, “We are an average football team.”
PROPS TO BRANDON CARR
The poor guy was turned into dog food by Calvin Johnson all day on Sunday, and he could have taken the chicken way out of town by not addressing us media dorks. Carr stood there for an eternity and was a complete professional talking about his miserable day at the office.
He is from Michigan, so it’s a homecoming gone awry but he a note of appreciation, respect and appreciation for handling himself so well on a bad day at work.
LOOK OUT FOR THE GIANTS
The New York Giants are now just two wins back to tie for the NFC East lead, which is both sad, funny and true.
They have left themselves no margin for error, but they have a home game remaining against the Cowboys; given the mediocre nature of this division don't rule anything out.
I may be the quarterback for the Vikings when they come to JerryWorld next week.
The Vikings are back to local guy Christian Ponder, whom they know is not the answer. And neither is Josh Freeman.
Watch the Cowboys dare whatever Vikings QB plays to beat them as they put all 11 defenders in the box to stop Adrian Peterson.
The Cowboys will be 5-4 before returning to 5-5 when they play the Saints the following week.
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