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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Slow starts hurting Cowboys

By Calvin Watkins

When you think about why the Cowboys are 5-6 this season, check out the starts to games.

Entering the weekend, the Cowboys have scored just 30 first-quarter points, 29th in the NFL.

They trailed Washington 28-3, Cleveland 13-0, the New York Giants 23-0 and Chicago and Seattle 10-0. Not all in the first quarter mind you, but when you have to rally it brings up misleading stats and makes your offense one-sided, meaning you're forced to pass all game.

This season, quarterback Tony Romo has attempted 35 or more passes in a game eight times. In games where that happens, the Cowboys are 2-6.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't believe a slow start was the problem in the Redskins loss because his team was ahead 3-0, but the Cowboys settled for a field goal on their first possession.

Over the next five weeks the Cowboys have to establish themselves early in the game, getting out fast -- and getting touchdowns especially -- to set the tone.

If not, then this season will be lost by Christmas Day.