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Storylines from Sunday

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The Dallas Cowboys shot themselves in the foot on Sunday. Over and over. The lesson never quite sunk in that untimely penalties, poor coverage in the secondary, bad throws and missed blocks, would doom a team to failure. They just kept repeating them over and over.

Mac Engel gives you the specific rundown of some of the glaring errors in this article.

Tim Cowlishaw takes on the bad afternoon of starting QB Drew Bledsoe, then stirs the QB controversy pot.

But here's what you need to know about Parcells. He was asked two questions about Tony Romo - one about whether he thought about playing him Sunday and another about maybe playing him against Washington.

Parcells didn't bristle, didn't snap the way he did when asked about the Cowboys' history of penalty trouble.

He said he didn't think about changing quarterbacks Sunday. He said he didn't think he would change quarterbacks next week. Soft-spoken, matter-of-fact answers.

They were not the answers of a man who is dead set on giving Bledsoe 16 games to show what he can do. They were the answers of a coach struggling to figure out which quarterback gives this team a better chance to win in January, should the Cowboys reach the postseason.

He's stirring up the QB controversy, although to be fair he doesn't expect Parcells to insert Tony Romo this week. I agree, in fact I will guarantee that Romo isn't playing this week. As mad as I am about the loss Sunday, I know that Parcells isn't the kind of coach who will dump his veteran QB after one game to go with what essentially be a rookie in terms of NFL game experience. He's just not going to risk playing the inexperienced Tony Romo. But I will say this, if Bledsoe turns in a string of performances like Sunday, then Romo could get the call. And before the season I wouldn't even concede that point unless Bledsoe was injured.

You can break it down into all its ugly details as to why we lost the game on Sunday. Or you can sum it up in a sentence or two with the big picture. This is a good summation:

After grabbing a 10-0 lead on Julius Jones' 23-yard run and Shaun Suisham's 32-yard field goal in the first quarter, the Cowboys did not record more than one first down on any of their next six possessions.

Six straight possessions of ineptitude.

For all those T.O. haters, where would Dallas have been on Sunday without him? Besides Julius Jones, he was our only offensive weapon of any importance.

Owens led all Cowboys receivers with six catches for 80 yards, including a 21-yarder for a late fourth-quarter touchdown on a play that looked a whole lot like an appetizer, a taste of things to come.

Let's hope so.

Let's hope that, behind the bright smile and diplomatic words he shared postgame that he wasn't really thinking, "What the heck have I got myself into? How are we going to win with this quarterback? And what idiot put together that offensive line?"

If Owens can have this kind of game when Bledsoe is playing like Quasimodo, imagine what he might do when (or if) Bledsoe -- or Tony Romo -- is actually semi-competent.

For another general review of what went wrong, Clarence Hill provides some detail in this article.