Kevin C. Cox
The Dallas Cowboys may not have turned the ball over on Sunday, yet mistakes doomed the Cowboys once more in another tough loss.
Tony Romo was 25-of-35 for 321 yards a touchdown, playing perhaps his cleanest game of the season, yet the Cowboys offense repeatedly stalled throughout the game against the Falcons. Dallas was unable to take advantage of several prime chances to take a big lead in the first quarter, settling for six points when the Cowboys were unable to capitalize inside the red zone.
The Cowboys defense, which had played so stout for most of the game, wore down in the fourth quarter and allowed 13 costly points to the Falcons. Trailing 16-13 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation, the Cowboys were unable to stop the Falcons when the team needed to most as Atlanta killed the clock before icing the game with a 32-yard field goal.
The Cowboys, despite not committing a turnover for the first time all season, still committed costly mistakes when it hurt the most. KD Drummond of Blogging The Boys recounts the mental mistakes that led to another tough loss.
The biggest culprit this time was nickel corner Orlando Scandrick. His failure to tackle Jacquizz Rodgers on a third down in an open field situation basically worked another couple minutes off the clock. Later in the drive, Scandrick would blatantly hold Roddy White on another chance to get off the field on third down. A little later, Rodgers juked Danny McCray with a sick move and that was pretty much a wrap.
The penalties were down in overall numbers, but there were still six and they still occurred at some of the worst times. The Cowboys never seem to be able to secure loose balls, as was evident when DeMarcus Ware completely crushed Matt Ryan early in the game. The ball was jarred loose but the Falcons recovered.
The Cowboys next take on division rival Philadelphia, with kickoff set for 4:25 p.m. ET on Nov. 11.