Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 5 Rapid Reaction

Cowboys preview: Make-or-break stretch

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
2:30
PM ET
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.

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Rapid Reaction: Dallas Cowboys

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
7:45
PM ET


ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

What it means for the Cowboys: For the third straight season, the Cowboys are 2-3, and they have never recovered from so poor a start to make the playoffs since Jerry Jones took over as owner and general manager in 1989.

The difference-maker was a Tony Romo interception with 1:57 to play at the Dallas 24-yard line, which ruined what had been one of the best games of his career. He finished with a franchise-record 506 passing yards, but it was the mistake when it mattered most that doomed his game and the Cowboys’ chance to knock off the undefeated Broncos.

Peyton Manning was able to bleed the clock after converting two first downs to set up Matt Prater's 28-yard field goal to win the game as the clock expired.

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Stock watch: Falling -- Monte Kiffin. He was brought in to change the defense, and, so far, it just has not happened. The Cowboys are forcing more turnovers and came up with the first interception of Manning on the season, but the 51 points allowed is the most points they have ever allowed in a home game in team history. The Cowboys allowed 500 yards for the second straight game, with Denver picking up 517 after San Diego put up 506 last week.

Airing it out: Terrance Williams, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten all had touchdowns, and all had more than 100 yards receiving on Romo's 506-yard day.

A week after his fumble at the goal line cost the Cowboys at least a field goal,if not a touchdown, Williams responded with an 82-yard touchdown and 151 yards. Bryant scored a touchdown for the fourth straight game and had 141 yards, but he also had a crucial fumble in the first half. Witten caught seven passes for 121 yards and had a fourth-quarter touchdown that gave the Cowboys a brief lead.

Alas, it was not enough for the Cowboys or Romo, whose mistake cost the Cowboys a chance at victory.

Claiborne rebounds, sort of: Morris Claiborne has been maligned for his play this season, but the second-year cornerback was responsible for two takeaways that led to 14 Cowboys points.

Claiborne recovered a fumble on the Broncos' first drive of the game that ended in a DeMarco Murray touchdown, and his interception of Manning in the third quarter led to a Witten touchdown that gave the Cowboys a 41-38 lead.

It wasn’t perfect. He was beaten by Eric Decker for a 57-yard catch and a touchdown, but it was at least a sign of fight from Claiborne.

What’s next: The Cowboys play their second NFC East game of the season with the Washington Redskins visiting AT&T Stadium. Robert Griffin III completed 20 of 28 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins’ 38-31 victory in Arlington on Thanksgiving last season. The Cowboys opened this season with a 36-31 win against the New York Giants.

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