Monday, October 28, 2013

Plenty of blame to go around for Cowboys loss

That sound you just heard was Calvin Johnson (81) catching another pass against the Cowboys
Reading the papers and the bloggers this morning you would think the only thing that caused the Dallas Cowboys to drop a 31-30 NFL game to the Detroit Lions was the Cowboys defense, which surrendered 488 passing yards to the Lions, including 329 to receiver Calvin Johnson, the most yards by any receiver in a regulation NFL game. (I know the official listing will have Johnson second to Flipper Anderson’s 336 yards in 1989, but that was in an overtime game and at the end of regulation, Anderson had fewer yards than Johnson. So there.)

Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense didn’t do much either. Romo had a total of 206 yards passing. The Lions’ Matthew Stafford had 211 yards passing in the fourth quarter alone.

Two of Romo’s tosses went for 60 yards to Terrance Williams and 50 to Dez Bryant, misleading numbers because most of those yards were the result of excellent runs after the catch by Williams and Bryant. In fact, I wish the NFL would break up those statistics, awarding the quarterback only the yardage between the throw and the catch, and awarding the receiver the rest.

But I digress. Take away those 110 yards and Romo was a pathetic 12 of 28 (a horrendous 43 percent completion rate) for only 96 yards. 96 YARDS? If you’re only going to pass for 96 yards you’d better have one super strong running game.

So let’s look at the Cowboys rushing stats. Ahem. The Cowboys rushed for a grand total of 62 yards yesterday. The Lions’ Reggie Bush alone rushed for 92.

There’s a program on ESPN called Numbers Never Lie. They sure don’t in this case. The Cowboys offense was just as much to blame for this loss as the defense. And don’t forget – the Lions’ margin of victory could have been significantly greater were it not for the four turnovers registered by that much maligned defense.

Mind you, I’m not absolving the defense for its performance yesterday. I’m just saying there’s plenty of blame to share.

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