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Looking back, looking ahead

Mac Engel sums up our four losses below.

Week 1 loss at Jacksonville: Three interceptions off quarterback Drew Bledsoe and below-average play from the offensive line and defensive backs.

Week 5 loss at Philadelphia: The defense allows three plays totaling 187 yards that lead to 21 points. Bledsoe is intercepted three times again, including twice in the red zone, and the final pick comes with less than a minute to go on a potential game-tying play.

Week 7 loss against the New York Giants: Four more interceptions by Bledsoe and Tony Romo, including one near the goal line at the end of the first half; and six sacks allowed.

Week 9 loss at Washington: 11 penalties for 153 yards, three dropped interceptions and one potential touchdown pass dropped by Terrell Owens.

"We're a middle-of-the-pack team," Cowboys linebacker Kevin Burnett said, "and that's how middle-of-the-pack teams lose."

Five teams in the NFC are now 4-4. How does each one look?
Here's how the .500 NFC teams shape up:

Dallas The schedule for the Cowboys gets easier in the second half of the season, but they must quit beating themselves.

Philadelphia The Eagles have lost three straight and are in a full freefall. They can't blame T.O. this time.

Carolina As a preseason Super Bowl pick, the Panthers have the horses to get back in it but must turn it around now.

Minnesota The Vikings are living on borrowed time. Consider them a pretender, not a legitimate playoff contender.

St. Louis Because of their offensive explosiveness and weak division, the Rams will be in it until the end.

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