Rapid Reaction: Jets 27, Cowboys 24

September, 11, 2011
9/11/11
11:58
PM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Garrett always talks about playing with poise.

It's why he makes his team practice late-game situations. Well, the Cowboys messed up their late-game situations Sunday night, losing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 27-24 loss to the New York Jets in the season opener at MetLife Stadium.

The Cowboys should have won this game, but instead Garrett's young team heads home 0-1 and trying to figure out how to win a game like this in the future. It was special night as the last game of the day marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the crowd was muted for much of the night as the Cowboys controlled the game.

But in the final six minutes of the game, the Cowboys fell apart.

What it means? The Cowboys have played better since Garrett took over as coach, but the key thing for this is finishing games and the Cowboys didn't. Nick Folk, the former Cowboys kicker, made the game-winner, a 50-yarder with 27 seconds left to seal the victory.

Romo fumble costly: As the Cowboys were moving to a potential game-clinching score, quarterback Tony Romo scrambled up the middle and fumbled at the Cowboys 2 with 8:59 to play in the fourth quarter. If the Cowboys had scored at least a field goal, it's a 10-point game. But the fumble kept the game alive.

Sean Lee with solid game: Sean Lee got the start over Keith Brooking on Sunday night and played a wonderful game. He picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and finished with nine combined tackles. If there were any questions about starting Lee, there should be none now after this effort.

Bryant shut out in second half: Dez Bryant finished with just three catches for 71 yards and one touchdown, but he had zero catches in the last three quarters. Romo directed a pass at Bryant late in the game but it was picked off by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis with 49 seconds to play in the game. Bryant was covered at first by Antonio Cromartie, but Revis took over and held the second-year player with no catches the last three quarters.

Injuries hit cornerbacks: The Cowboys lost both of their starting cornerbacks, Mike Jenkins (shoulder) and Orlando Scandrick (ankle) to injuries. Scandrick went down in the first half and Jenkins left the game in the fourth quarter but did return and made a solid tackle on Burress. Jenkins took a vicious blind-side hit on a pass reception when Plaxico Burress laid a block on a Santonio Holmes reception. The Cowboys were left with Alan Ball and Bryan McCann at corner. Terence Newman, the regular starter, missed the game with a groin injury but could return next week at San Francisco.

What's Next? The Cowboys conclude their two-game road trip by taking on the San Francisco 49ers (1-0).
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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