Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 8 DAL at DET Rapid Reaction

Tony Romo-led offense was off again

October, 27, 2013
DETROIT -- Tony Romo had three touchdown passes in a game for the 31st time in his career as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback.

It might have been an historic day for Romo, passing Craig Morton and Ken Stabler for 51st in NFL in passing yards (27,953) and Bob Griese and Stabler in touchdown passes (195), but it might have been the least impressive three-touchdown game of his career.

Romo completed only 14 of 30 passes for 206 yards in the Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions, and 110 of those passing yards came on touchdowns to Terrance Williams (60) and Dez Bryant (50) in the fourth quarter.

“That was a very good front we just played against,” Romo said. “It felt eerily similar to the Minnesota game up in the dome in the playoffs (in 2009), scheme-wise and a little bit with the way they were able to rush the passer. If you can rush the passer like that in this environment it’s going to be a very tough place to play. You’re not going to be able to get to your progressions and you’re not going to be able to get the ball to certain spots. I thought the guys did a good job as the game went on, giving us a little more time to get to the second and third reads. We were able to exploit that a little bit more.”

Romo completed only 46.6 percent of his passes, the third-worst of his career when he has started and finished a game. For the third time this season he was not able to throw for more than 210 yards in a game. After completing at least 69.4 percent of his passes in each of the first five games, Romo has completed 60 percent, 59.6 percent and 46.6 percent of his passes in the last three games.

He wasn’t sacked for the first time in a game this season, but according to ESPN Stats & Information he was under duress 38 percent of his total drop backs. In the first seven games, he was under duress on 22 percent of his drop backs.

“I thought they did a good job of pressuring the quarterback and winning on the line of scrimmage,” coach Jason Garrett said. “They’ve got some good players up front and Tony had to get the ball out of his hands. We didn’t have the rhythm we wanted in the passing game and they had a lot to do with it.”

Rapid Reaction: Dallas Cowboys

October, 27, 2013

DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

What it means for the Cowboys: Dominated offensively and defensively, the Cowboys had no business being in the game but lost it in a way only they can, giving up a touchdown with 12 seconds left to play on a Matthew Stafford leap after blowing two 10-point leads in the fourth quarter.

The Lions scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, and the defense was unable to find an answer for Calvin Johnson, who had 329 yards receiving, which were 125 more yards than the Cowboys had as a team.

With the loss, the Cowboys dropped to 4-4 and are foreshadowing a third straight 8-8 record.


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The only thing that could save them is the NFC East division title, because the Cowboys would lose a wild-card tiebreaker with the Lions if it gets that far.

Stock watch: Cowboys defense, falling -- Johnson proved just how otherworldly he is with 14 catches for 329 yards, and he did it with Brandon Carr following him all over the field. Carr had success against Demaryius Thomas, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. He had none with Johnson. The Lions finished with 623 yards on offense, negating the four turnovers the Cowboys forced.

Three touchdowns, but: Tony Romo completed at least 69.4 percent of his passes in each of the first five games, but he has been off-target of late.

He completed 60 percent against the Washington Redskins, 59.6 percent against the Philadelphia Eagles and 46.7 percent (14-of-30) against the Lions.

He did, however, throw a touchdown pass in his 21st straight game with a 5-yarder to Bryant in the second quarter, then hit on consecutive passes to Terrance Williams (60 yards) and Bryant (50 yards) in the fourth quarter for scores.

What’s next: The Cowboys return to AT&T Stadium next week to face the Minnesota Vikings. It is their only home game in a six-week span with road games against the New Orleans Saints (Nov. 10) and the New York Giants (Nov. 24) sandwiching their Nov. 17 bye week.