Dallas simply whipped us. Plain and simple. I had predicted a loss in my Game Preview. A lot of people said I was crazy, but it really seemed obvious to me. Dallas had already lost a home divisional game. They had played in 4 close games. Tuna came out and criticized several guys in the media. The Cowboys were more desparate than us. They needed the game. A loss would have been really tough on them. That desparation showed in their play. They were bold. They were aggressive. There was no playing it smart. That style doesn't generally lead to championship football, but when it works, it is tough to handle. We all know how much Parcells loves to run the ball. But Tuna is smart. The Cowboys came out attacking. Out of their first ten 1st down plays, they threw 5 passes. Keyshawn had an End Around. Julius Jones had only 4 carries. That goes against the typical expectations of Bill's offensive style. In fact, Bledsoe threw 26 passes in the 1st half. Jones had 16 carries. Dallas attacked from the start and did so by throwing the ball a lot and downfield. Consider that last year Vinnie threw 30 passes in Gm 1 and 28 in Gm 2. The problem as I saw it from our perspective was the comeback vs KC. Comebacks can either wake a team up and get them to focus or it can build a false sense of complacency. For whatever reason, I felt we'd be complacent. I think that showed in our play yesterday. We were not the aggressor. We were always a step behind, both the coaching staff and players. Add in the poor execution in all 3 phases of the game and you have a major butt whipping. OFFENSE Donovan played a poor game. He was inaccurate and indecisive. His throwing was off early, and when the Dallas pressure got to him, it took him out of his game. Unfortunately, when you have a pass happy offense, a bad day for the QB means a bad day for the team. Dallas did what any smart defense would do...they attacked him. Other teams have tried, but don't have the defensive weapons that the Boys do. 2 of Dallas's 4 sacks came from DBs. They didn't play it safe. They really came after Donnie. They lined up guys close to the LOS and played mind games with him. Hard to judge the other skill players. Donovan was inaccurate, so the guys might have been open. One thing that bothered me was that the Cowboys got away with being physical with Owens a couple of times. I can remember one specific play where he was headed downfield and a DB put his hands on him 20 yds downfield. No call. I think we punted on that drive. TO also ticked me off on our lone good drive of the day. He caught one ball and was down the right sideline. He came up to a Cowboy defender and stepped out of bounds. That really bothered me. He could have easily cut inside. He may not have scored a TD, but our team needed a spark. Go for the endzone. The sideline has never missed a tackle. Cowboy DBs have. Take a chance. Westy had a frustrating day. He only had 9 touches. The running lanes stayed clogged. He was open on some pass routes, but Donovan either didn't see him or was hurried into a bad pass. The most frustrating play came on a blitz where Brian had lined up in the slot. He ran a seam route and was open for a big play or TD. Donovan was hurried and the ball was about a foot too far out front. Incomplete. The offensive line did give up 4 sacks, but there was a lot of blitzing. Could have been much worse. I was disappointed by the lack of push in the run blocking. We don't run enough for our guys to be able to get in a rhythm quickly, but Westy had nowhere to go. DEFENSE I simply don't know what to say. Lito Sheppard had a bad day and it really hurt. Mike Lewis didn't play well. That hurt. We got no pressure on Bledsoe, either from the DL or the blitz. We didn't play good, sound assignment football. Guys lost contain. We had blown coverages. We flat out stunk. Don't make too much of this game. Our defense has a lot of talent. They just had a bad game. There were flukey circumstances to us giving up 31 points to KC and 20 to Oakland. Nothing like that in this game. The defense was just bad. SPECIAL TEAMS This area really bothered me. In watching the Cowboys, they had been pretty sloppy on STs. I really thought we could contain them and get some good returns for ourselves. Wrong. They dominated this area also. Patrick Crayton was fast and decisive on his punt returns. They got a huge KOR to start the game. Our return game was pedestrian. ******************* This was just a bad day all around. Don't read too much into it, though. The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember 1994? We started 7-2 and were the best team in the league at the halfway point. That was followed by a disastrous 0-7 finish. Our biggest win that year was over the SF 49ers. We went to Candlestick and beat them 40-8. Dominant victory. Fast forward to the end of the year...SF won the Super Bowl. And check this out...SF came into that game 3-1. The blowout loss dropped them to 3-2. They went 10-1 over the rest of the year. Can this team go 10-1 or anything like that? Yes. Hell yes. We have a ton of talent. We need to play better and play with more of a sense or urgency or desparation. Talent alone won't get it done. I believe in Andy Reid and his coaching staff. I believe in this group of players. They'll get this thing turned around. I can't guarantee we'll have as good a turnaround as the '94 SF team, but I think we will be a very good team and will be in the mix for the Lombardi. -------------------- NFL Draft Talk message board http://s9.invisionfree.com/NFL_Draft_Talk/index.php?