The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the final seconds of the game when a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal sailed wide left. The Cowboys dominated time-of-possession, had more first downs and gained about 200 yards more than the Ravens, yet they lost the game because of silly mistakes.
At the end of the game the Cowboys were simply not disciplined enough to do all the little things to win the game. So let’s take a look at the players, plays and situations that earned this week’s the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Cowboys found their rush offense again and ran the ball at will against the Ravens. The Cowboys gained 227 yards rushing. Even though running back DeMarco Murray missed the entire second half of the game, he gained 93 yards rushing.
Felix Jones gained 92 yards and Phillip Tanner made some tough runs and gained 31 yards on nine carries. Even rookie Lance Dunbar shined in his lone carry for 11 yards. Dunbar may be asked to carry the ball more due to Murray’s injury.
Every game it seems that the Cowboys take one step forward and three steps back. This week the Cowboys were penalized 13 times for 82 yards. Once again, the pre-snap penalties hurt Dallas and it continued to put Dallas in bad situations.
The Cowboys were charged with three illegal shifts. Those mistakes put the team in long down-and-distances and they have to find a way to correct this issue that has plagued them all year.
Why is it that we continue to ask Jason Garrett about clock management? The end of this game reminded everyone that Garrett still does not have a clue about how to handle the game clock.
After the Cowboys recovered an onside kick and the Ravens were penalized for pass interference, they faced 1st-and-10 from the Ravens' 34-yard line. There were 26 seconds left on the clock before the play. When Dez Bryant caught a one-yard pass from Tony Romo, there were 21 seconds left on the clock after the officials blew the play dead.
Instead of calling the timeout to set up a few more plays and possibly gain more yards, Garrett allowed the clock to go down to six seconds and they were forced to settle for a 51-yard field goal attempt that became Dan Bailey’s first miss on the season. Had the Cowboys called the timeout immediately, they would have had 20 seconds on the clock, which is plenty of time to throw the ball 10 yards down the middle of the field and come up and spike the ball.
This is not the first time Jason Garrett has mismanaged the clock at the end of the game and this time, it cost him.
It’s safe to say that Jason Witten is back! Witten had six receptions for 88 yards. His catch-and-run for 35-yards early in the third quarter was fantastic and it helped set up a short field goal to start the second half.
Witten is an effective blocker as well and he was great in blocking for both DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones in the run game.
Cornerback Brandon Carr suffered his worst day as a Cowboy. The Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco threw in Carr’s direction early and often and found plenty of success. On the first drive, the Ravens completed three passes on Carr.
Later in the second half, after the Cowboys had cut the lead to 24-23, Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin made several receptions on Carr including a long 31-yard pass that set up the Ravens' final touchdown.
We understand that Carr will not be perfect in every single game, but hopefully he can perform better than he did against the Ravens.
The Cowboys have yet to give up on the "Tyron Smith at left tackle" experiment. If they want proof that the move is not working, they just need to look at the tape against the Ravens.
Smith was out of position on many plays and he allowed a couple of quarterback hits on Tony Romo. Smith also continues to commit too many penalties. He was charged with two offensive holding penalties, the second of which nullified a first down when Romo scrambled for a 12-yard gain.
Felix Jones showed some flashes of why he was drafted in the first round as he was successful running the ball against the Ravens. He ran hard to get to the end zone on his 22-yard touchdown run.
Jones was in the game for most of the second half because DeMarco Murray suffered a foot injury. Jones gained 92-yards on 18 carries and also added one catch for 13-yards.
Injuries continue to hit the Cowboys hard. This week it affected both the offense and defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, running back DeMarco Murray missed the second half with a foot injury. Felix Jones and Dez Bryant also missed playing time but were able to get back on the field to finish the game.
On defense, Sean Lissemore left the game with a high ankle sprain—Lissemore did not return. Rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne left the game with a knee injury but he was able to come back in later in the game.
This is a team that is already missing significant players on the defensive side of the ball and cannot afford any more long-term injuries.
Where you at, No. 85?
No, not Chad Johnson. Where is Kevin Ogletree?
Ogletree has all but disappeared since the season opener. Against the New York Giants, Ogletree had eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, in four games, he has nine catches for 107 yards and zero TDs.
This week he was targeted four times and he did not have a single catch. At this point, the Cowboys may want to look at the other 85.
Yes, Chad Johnson!