Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 8 NFL Buzz

Cowboys preview: Make-or-break stretch

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
The end of the season has not been kind to the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. It's not been just a Jason Garrett problem, but the Cowboys lost three of their last four in 2013, their final two in 2012 and four of their last five in 2011 to finish 8-8 all three years. This year's late-season schedule is difficult -- five of the last seven away from home -- but the pivotal stretch will be early in the year to make sure the end of the year is relevant. Six of the Cowboys' first nine games are at AT&T Stadium, which has not provided the greatest of home-field advantages since opening. The Cowboys have a three-game homestand from Oct. 19-Nov. 2 against three NFC teams that they almost have to sweep to stay in contention in the division or help in the wild-card standings.

Complete Cowboys season preview.

Locker Room Buzz: Dallas Cowboys

October, 27, 2013
DETROIT -- Observed in the locker room after the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Dez being Dez: Dez Bryant was unapologetic for his sideline outbursts, and coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo defended the wide receiver’s actions during the game and right after the game.

“I’ve been this way since Pop Warner,” Bryant said.

Said Garrett: “We want guys who want the football.” Said Romo: “Dez is never being a ‘me’ guy. That’s not who he is.”

Bryant has had such episodes in the past, but this one seemed to be more involved. DeMarcus Ware separated Bryant and Jason Witten, but later both players hugged in the locker room.

Blown opportunity: The Cowboys have had their share of gut-wrenching losses in recent years, but Garrett attempted to be as detached emotionally as he possibly could after the game.

The Cowboys blew two 10-point leads in the fourth quarter and allowed 24 fourth-quarter points, culminating in Matthew Stafford's 1-yard leap with 12 seconds to play. At 4-4, the Cowboys remain in first place in the NFC East, but they missed a huge opportunity to create more separation in the division, and now they have to worry about a hangover heading into next week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“We didn’t do what we needed to do to win the ballgame, period,” Garrett said. “They did. We didn’t. We have to live with that and look ourselves in the mirror and it starts with me, the coaching staff, every player in that locker room. Just got to do better, and we have to learn from that experience and find a way to win that game. We were in position to win the ballgame and had opportunities on offense, defense and the kicking game to end it and we didn’t do it. We just have to understand the importance of each sequence, each play to the outcome of the ballgame, and we didn’t get it done.”

Nightmare return: Brandon Carr's return to Michigan did not go well. Calvin Johnson had a superhuman game with 14 catches for 329 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys had 268 yards of offense as a team.

Johnson had an 87-yard grab in the first quarter on Carr, and a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter. He set up Stafford’s game-winning touchdown with a 22-yarder down the seam to the Dallas 1.

“They had a player that was hot and they kept feeding him and feeding him and rode him to victory,” Carr said.