Same as it ever was. The Dallas Cowboys blew another game that they could have won because they play stupid football. This team is wasting a talent-laden roster by proving that brains count just as much as brawn in football. The Tennessee Titans played a good game, they were a terror in the pass rush, and their receivers and Vince Young took advantage of the Cowboys secondary. They deserve a lot of credit for the 34-27 victory. But they can thank an error-prone, mistake-filled Cowboys team that can't get out of its own way.
From the very first series of the game, Dallas proved what kind of team they are. Mike Jenkins was flagged twice for pass interference, and not just routine inteference, but blatant interference that seemed like he wasn't even interested in covering the receiver. The Titans converted those gifts into a touchdown.Things continued to go downhill as the cowboys offensive line struggled to deal with the Titans pass rush. They were beat several times on straight-up one-on-one moves, other times they succumbed to the blitz.
Later, the Cowboys had the Titans stopped on third down, but a Stephen Bowen hands to the face penalty allowed the drive to continue, and the Titans eventually scored a touchdown. On offense, the Cowboys had a good Marion Barber run wiped out by a Marc Colombo personal foul, then a long Miles Austin catch was brought back on a Doug Free hold. To punctuate that series, Colombo proceeded to give up a sack.
The Cowboys did have a stretch from late in the second quarter to early in the third quarter when they looked like the team they could be. Roy Williams and Miles Austin put together some great catches that resulted in touchdowns. Felix Jones also had a credible rushing day.
Then the mistakes started again. David Buehler missed a 44-yd field goal. Dallas wasted a timeout because they couldn't get set on offense. They managed to drive the ball to the Titans redzone, then Tony Romo forced a pass high into traffic that tipped off Martellus Bennett's hands for a Titans interception.
Even with all of that, the Cowboys were at the Titans 3-yd line poised to take a seven point lead. But Doug Free missed a second-level block that got Felix Jones decked, then Free had a false start that backed the Cowboys up to the 8-yd line. They settled for a field goal. Free wasn't done with his bad game, he missed a cut block on the Titans defensive end, the defender tipped Romo's pass for an interception and the Titans scored the go-ahead touchdown.
Dallas rallied, drove the ball down the field and eventually scored on a Jason Witten catch. Then the most maddening mistake of all appeared. Witten gave the ball to Colombo who spiked it, resulting in a celebration penalty. The penalty was enforced on the kickoff, meaning Buehler kicked from the 15-yd line. The Titans took advantage and returned the ball to the Cowboys 5-yd line, and scored the game-winning touchdown.
There's not much you can say for this team. They have everything you need to win, except the smarts to get it done. Sure, they made physical mistakes in the game, and the Titans played a very good football game. Still, if the Cowboys would quit shooting themselves in the foot, they may actually win games.
It's hard to have any confidence that could happen.