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Slipping Through Their Fingers: Ravens 33, Cowboys 24

These are simply the most obvious of several key whiffs from the night:

-- Tony Romo missed Miles Austin behind the Ravens secondary on Dallas' initial 3rd down play.

-- Anthony Henry whiffs on a deep out to Derrick Mason, missing a pick.

-- Ken Hamlin missed a Le'Roy McClain fumble, which falls into Mason's hands. Baltimore makes the game tipper, faking a field goal two plays later and setting up their first field goal of the day.

-- Tashard Choice drops an option pitch when he has the corner on a 3rd-and-2 early in the 4th quarter, forcing Dallas to settle for a field goal when the score was 16-7.

-- Two Cowboys miss on a Yamon Figures fumble on a kickoff after Dallas scored to pull to within 19-17.

-- Hamlin whiffs on a Willis McGahee isolation play, allowing him to run 77 yards without having to make a wiggle, let alone a cut, on a game deciding run with 3:34 left in the game one play later. 

-- Hamlin tries going high on McClain on the first play after Dallas kicks deep after pulling back to 26-24, failing to make the tackle and letting McClain free for an 82 yard run. 

The Ravens finished with 267 yards rushing and 159 of them came on Baltimore's final two runs.

-- The decisive edge?  Rex Ryan completely broke Jason Garrett's and Hudson Houck's protection.  I stopped counting when I ran out of fingers the times that Baltimore was able to get a rusher to come free on Romo, without anybody touching him.  Romo has a bad back, which clearly worsened as the game proceeded, and the Ravens beat him blue. Romo needed every bit of his Houdini skills to simply avoid pressure and throw incompletions. 

Romo made big plays late, but when the game was in contest, in the first three quarters, the protection failed to protect. 

More to come.

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