Dallas Cowboys: penalties

Penalties continue to be problematic

September, 23, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys’ magic number appears to be 13.

When they have committed 13 penalties in a game in 2012, they are 2-0.

But they cannot continue with such Oakland-like recklessness and expect to keep winning. Penalties have been an issue for this team for the last 10 years, whether Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips or Jason Garrett is the coach.


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The Cowboys had 13 penalties for 105 yards in Sunday’s 16-10 win against Tampa Bay, two games after they had 13 penalties for 86 yards in the season-opening win at the New York Giants.

The Cowboys had five false-start penalties (two each by Jason Witten and Doug Free and one by Tyron Smith).

“The communication at the line of scrimmage, we just have to clean up,” Garrett said. “I think some of the other penalties that have happened were almost effort penalties, guys trying to do too much and getting hands up in a face mask or some things that occur in a ballgame. You have to address those as well. We constantly address 'do your job,' and sometimes a guy wants to do their job well and get themselves in trouble. The pre-snap penalties we’ve just got to eliminate. We’ll keep working as a coach staff on it.”

With 36 penalties in three games, the Cowboys are on pace for 165. The team record is 141 set in 1988.

Penalties bother Jason Garrett

August, 14, 2012
OAKLAND -- You can find a lot of wrong things from the Cowboys' 3-0 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, and having 12 penalties for 91 yards is one of them.

"They hurt us and obviously it's an area we need to improve throughout our entire football team," coach Jason Garrett said. "Special teams early on hurt us. We gave them two possession opportunities after we made two good stops on defense."

Special teams was called for four penalties. Jamize Olawale ran into punter Marquette King and Teddy Williams was called for offsides, giving the Raiders a first down.

The offensive line was called for five penalties, including two false starts, and there was a bad substitution penalty on the last play of the game when the Cowboys were trying a kneel down.

"Each of those is a case (where) a young guy is trying to do a little too much," Garrett said. "Running into the kicker, Teddy being offsides giving them a first down when they’re punting, and obviously that’s line one, you can't give them the ball back in those situations. Those guys are trying to make a play and sometimes you got to play with poise, do your job, let the game come to you a little bit, and I thought those guys came back as the game wore on. But overall there were too many penalties, and it hurt our team."