Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Upon Further Review: Cowboys Week 14
By Todd Archer
CHICAGO -- A review of four hot issues from the Dallas Cowboys' 45-28 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday.
Go for it: With 10:37 left in the third quarter and the Cowboys trailing 27-14, Jason Garrett passed on a chance to give his team a jolt. Facing fourth-and-4 from the Chicago 41, Garrett elected to punt even though his defense had done nothing to slow down the Bears. Chicago answered with a 14-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte to seal the win.
"We thought about going," Garrett said. "We were still right in the middle of the field and still a long way to go on that … You start getting into those discussions when you're putting it all together: how much time is on the clock, the score and what they're doing offensively. We thought the right move there was to play a little bit of field position and obviously it didn't work out very well for us."
Time for a rebound: One week after allowing 51 points to the Denver Broncos, the Cowboys allowed only 16 points to the Washington Redskins. One week after allowing 623 yards and 24 fourth-quarter points in a loss to the Detroit Lions, they were able to limit the Minnesota Vikings. After giving up 625 yards and 40 first downs to the New Orleans Saints, they used the bye week to get things right against the New York Giants. And now after Monday's loss they have to rebound again on a short week with the Green Bay Packers coming to Arlington.
"They'll be a lot of things we look at in terms of what we're playing," Garrett said. "We'll look at who's involved and we have to step back and watch the tape before we make any of those assessments right now. We've done that on a couple of occasions this year and we simply have to do it again."
No breaks: In a 17-point defeat that did not seem that close there are not one or two plays that could have changed momentum, but the Cowboys saw any chance get wiped out because of a holding penalty on Brandon Carr. The flag wiped out a Sterling Moore interception. Garrett said he did not have a good view of the play. The penalty might have been the right call, but the flag came after Moore started to return the turnover upfield. That came two plays after Bruce Carter dropped an interception down the seam.
Where's the pass rush? Monte Kiffin's 4-3 scheme is predicated on getting pressure on the quarterback with just four pass-rushers. In the past two games the Cowboys have one sack and it was a fourth-quarter sack Monday by DeMarcus Ware when the game was out of hand. If the Cowboys can't rush the passer, they can't play zone coverage. Quarterbacks have just ripped them apart. The Cowboys paid Carr $50 million. They rewarded Orlando Scandrick with a solid extension as their nickel corner. They traded up to the sixth pick to take Morris Claiborne in the 2012 draft. But all of those moves are proof that a pass rush makes a secondary, not the other way around.