A) Home sick - After spending over a month on the road - with only a handful of days in Dallas - the Cowboys seemed to have been satisfied to be in Texas and looked at this game in Houston a just a pit-stop before returning home. This made the team complacent. I just finished my internship with the Cowboys and have been on all the charter flights and buses, so I speak from experience.
"I think we will be okay when we get settled down and see our family and see our kids," defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "We will be ready to play."
B) Base-defense and offense - I know the word "vanilla" has been overused - especially this preseason. However, it is true. I talked to Hatcher after the game in the locker room and he said they were in base the entire game.
C) Scheming Texans - It is true the Texans indeed game-planned and schemed for the Cowboys. They were in it to win the game from the beginning. Wade Phillips on the other hand took the time to run some of the backups with the starters such as rookie fullback Chris Gronkowski.
"It was a weird weird scheme," Hatcher said. We didn't lay down, but we got our butt kicked - they schemed us well."
D) Injuries - Some of the Cowboys' offensive woes stem from injuries to the offensive line. Right tackle Marc Colombo and left guard Kyle Kosier did not play and will not until the regular season. Colombo is expected back for the opener while Kosier may miss a couple games.
On defense, I think we are beginning to see the value of Marcus Spears as a run stopper. Teamed with Ratliff, those guys play great together. Spears should be available for the opener against the Redskins as well.
E) Miscommunication - The other part of the Cowboys' offensive struggles can be attributed to communication issues. Whether it is between Tony Romo and Felix Jones on a pitch or miscommunication between No.9 and Roy Williams or Miles Austin on a route. The Cowboys need to be - and should be - on the same page by now.
These are just a few of the major issues I took from Saturday's game. Just remember - the field will look a bit different when these teams meet again in week three.
We know Bryan Cushing will not be on the field for the Texans. We also know our all of the Cowboys' starters - barring more injuries - will be back. We can't underestimate the return of Dez Bryant either - the kid is good.
Just a few things to ponder and keep in mind as we make our way to the regular season and eventually back at Reliant stadium. Jason Hatcher said it best, " Week three we are going to have a chip on our shoulders when we come back in here."