Counting seems to be a problem for the Cowboys.
Their issues with snap counts, which have been a major factor in the Cowboys being the NFL’s second most penalized team, have been well chronicled. Left tackle Tyron Smith leads the league with five false starts, right tackle Doug Free is tied for second with four and tight end Jason Witten is tied for fourth with three.
The Cowboys also had a problem counting to 11 in a couple of instances on special teams Sunday. Joe DeCamillis' units twice had only 10 men on the field in the kicking game, as originally spotted by ESPN Dallas scout Glenn Smith, a former NFL assistant coach.
The first instance actually benefited the Cowboys. The Buccaneers took a delay-of-game penalty with 1:05 remaining before halftime when the personal protector on their punt team appeared confused while counting Cowboys to set their blocking scheme. After Sean Lissemore joined the rest of the punt return team on the field, Tampa Bay punted for a touchback.
The Cowboys also had only 10 men on the field when the Bucs kicked a field goal in the final minute of the game. Reserve receiver Dwayne Harris was on the field for the Bucs’ extra point in the first half but missing for the field goal.