Commentary

Cowboys rely on short memory

Loss in Seattle, like opening win, taken in stride as focus shifts to Tampa Bay

Updated: September 17, 2012, 2:55 PM ET
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

SEATTLE -- The message coming from the Dallas Cowboys' locker room after Sunday's 27-7 loss to Seattle sounded a lot like the one that came from MetLife Stadium Sept. 5 after they beat the New York Giants.

"You have to move on," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We're going to have to go back as a coaching staff and a football team and evaluate what happened in three areas of our team, and we have to get it right. Just like we put victory behind us, you have to put this one behind us. But before you do that, we have to evaluate it. We have to go through the right process.

[+] EnlargeJason Garrett
Joe Nicholson/US Presswire"Just like we put victory behind us, you have to put this one behind us," Jason Garrett said after the Cowboys' loss to the Seahawks.

"We'll do that [Monday], and then we'll have to look at ourselves in the mirror and take accountability for it and move on individually throughout the football team as coaches and players, because we have more challenges ahead, starting with Tampa Bay next week."

The NFL is a week-to-week business. Heck, it might be a quarter-by-quarter business with some of the strange things that happen every weekend.

New Orleans is 0-2 after losing to Carolina. Arizona is 2-0 after winning at New England.

Closer to the Cowboys' home in the NFC East, Philadelphia is 2-0 after beating Baltimore, despite a number of turnovers for the second straight game.

Washington, after beating the Saints in Week 1, lost to St. Louis in Week 2. The Giants evened their record at 1-1, overcoming a 14-point deficit with a two-point conversion in the final minute against Tampa Bay.

Those Buccaneers, who beat Carolina to open the season, visit Cowboys Stadium Sunday.

"We have to find a way to assess our weaknesses and see what we did wrong," linebacker Sean Lee said, sounding a lot like his coach. "We were taking steps forward. This is obviously a step back, but finding a way to learn from it and move on is the only way we're going to be that consistent defense that we're looking for."

From Garrett, to Tony Romo in the interview room, to the voices in the disappointed locker room following the loss, they all swore the Cowboys' display against Seattle was not some sort of hangover from beating the Giants.

The poor start, Garrett said, was more about a lack of execution than a team not being emotionally ready. Romo said the only time the Giants were mentioned in the 10 days between games came when he was asked questions about the Week 1 win.

"We take every game independent of what happened before or what may happen next," Garrett said.

The poor second half, Garrett said, was about Seattle whipping the Cowboys in the three phases of football.

"We thought we had an opportunity to win two on the road, which would have been a great way to start," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "But they had other ideas, and they imposed their will on us. We've just got to look at that and learn from that. And that's what the NFL is."

Moving forward for the Cowboys must include a win against Tampa Bay, no matter how ugly or pretty it may be.

This is today's NFL. It's built for those with a short memory, as the Cowboys found out Sunday.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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