When it came to the Cowboys, I wish I had been wrong
By Michael Wright, Managing Editor
Oct 16, 2012, 16:21
When it came time last Monday to get in my picks for our football contest, I debated heavily over the Dallas-Baltimore game. I wrote Dallas... stared at the form... erased it... and wrote Baltimore. I did this a couple more times before coming to the conclusion that Baltimore probably would win the game. So, with a heavy heart, I picked against the Cowboys.
As Sunday's game rolled around, I was hoping that I would miss that pick. I could care less about losing a point in the standings if the Cowboys could get back on the winning track, especially at a place as tough as Baltimore.
Dallas had its opportunities in the game and should have come away with the win. As has been the case all too often, Romo threw an interception with the Cowboys marching into Baltimore territory. And, as they have been doing too much this season, Dallas shot itself in the foot several times with penalties.
Nonetheless, Dallas did have a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter, or to at least tie the score, but both those opportunities were botched.
Down by eight, Romo threw a touchdown strike to Dez Bryant for a touchdown. That cut the Baltimore lead to two. The Cowboys did the only thing they could do at that point — they went for two. Romo's pass was right on target, but Bryant was unable to hang on.
This forced the Cowboys into the only other option they had — an onside kick. And, they actually recovered it.
After a play that went for no yards and to the left hash mark, Dallas was unable to get back to the line before having to burn its final timeout. That left just one final option — a field goal attempt of 51 yards.
Now, I wondered why the Cowboys would throw a pass to the left hash mark rather than in the middle of the field. Wouldn't it have made more sense to try to give the kicker a shot straight up the gut rather than pushing him off to the far left? Anyway, as luck would have it, the kick curved just outside the left upright, ending any hope the Cowboys had of a come-from-behind, upset victory. Had the kick come from the middle of the field, or even the right hash mark, I believe it would have been good.
How I wish I had been wrong in picking the Ravens.
Blame the kicker, blame Bryant, blame Romo... blame whomever you choose. The bottom line is that the Cowboys, as a team, were unable to take advantage of game-winning opportunities. They were able to make plays to give themselves the opportunity, they were just unable to seize the opportunity.
If anything positive came from the game, it is the fact that the Cowboys appear to be playing better football after the bye week. Hopefully their improved play can continue. If that is the case, a 2-3 record could begin to improve quickly. If not, it will be another season with the same old results.