Upon Further Review: Cowboys Week 8

October, 28, 2013
10/28/13
12:30
PM ET
DETROIT -- A review of four hot issues from the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

What to make of the antics: After the game the Cowboys did their best to diffuse any possible issue regarding Dez Bryant’s emotion during and after the game. They put it on competitiveness and passion. When Terrell Owens would have outbursts like that, Owens was viewed as selfish. Perhaps Bryant was being positive with what he was saying, but he has to understand the cameras will always be on him and the story might change in the future.

[+] EnlargeSean Lee
AP Photo/Duane BurlesonDespite forcing four turnovers, including two picks by Sean Lee, the Cowboys couldn't hold on to beat the Lions.
Win turnover battle, lose game: Coach Jason Garrett always says the turnover battle is the biggest determining factor in the outcome of games. They Cowboys forced four Detroit turnovers and did not give it away even once, and they lost. It is the second time the Cowboys have had a plus-four turnover margin this season (they beat the New York Giants in the opener) and just the 11th time they have had two or more games with that margin since 1999.

“When you win it 4-0 and have two penalties in the ballgame in terms of not beating ourselves, we did a damn good job of that,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately we didn’t make the plays necessary on offense and didn’t make the stops on defense at the critical moments of the game and that was the difference.”

Help wanted: The trade deadline is Tuesday and while the Cowboys might want to make a trade, salary-cap issues will make any deal difficult. The most they can hope for is help from within. Running back DeMarco Murray and defensive end DeMarcus Ware missed their second straight game with knee and quadriceps injuries. Both could be back this week against the Minnesota Vikings. Murray was able to take part in three limited practices last week but the coaches did not believe he looked comfortable enough to play against the Lions. Ware has not practiced in two weeks but has seen the strength return to his leg.

Turnover machine: Linebacker Sean Lee had the second two-interception game of his career. His first came on Dec. 5, 2010, against Peyton Manning, and the Indianapolis Colts. Lee has 11 interceptions in his first four seasons, the most by a linebacker in the NFL since 2010. The last time the Cowboys had a player with at least four picks in the first half of a season was cornerback Anthony Henry, who had five in 2007. Lee also made double-digit tackles for the sixth straight game, finishing with 10. Now if he can do something about the secondary and defensive line the Cowboys might be in business.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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