Fact: the Dallas Cowboys are 7-5. Fact: the Dallas Cowboys are still the fourth seed in the NFC. Fact: that's about as positive as I can get right now. I'm still smarting a bit. Normally losses don't linger for me, but the Cowboys have played 193 minutes of angst-ridden football and it seems that the one loss painfully concluded one continuous fight. The loss kept the Cowboys from inserting additional space between them and the rest of the NFC pack. Green Bay, San Francisco and New Orleans are now at least two games clear of the muddled mess; four teams at 7-5 (Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit) and the 6-6 New York Giants.
I was able to join ESPN Fayetteville's The Ticket for a few minutes to discuss the game; that's when I finally had to release subjectivity and embrace objectivity. Host Josh Bertaccini gave me the questions that most folks outside of our inner circle are wondering about the team. If you have ten minutes to spare, take a listen here.
Jump to the 1:40 mark to get to the Cowboys discussion.
Follow the jump for more Cowboys news following yesterday's loss to Arizona.
Jason Garrett explains clock management crisis | ESPN
Here's coach with his version of what transpired down the wire yesterday.
"We very well could have taken a timeout there," Garrett said. "We felt like we were in field goal range. We have yard lines that we use as guidelines before the game. We felt like we were in range at that point. Tony [Romo] had them on the line of scrimmage quickly, so we went ahead and clocked it and used that as a timeout. …
"You see so many situations where you have negative plays in those situations. We felt like we were in his range to give him a chance to kick the game-winner."
Cardinals coach Wisenhunt fakes out Cowboys kicker | ArizonaSports.com
"I was thinking about it," Whisenhunt said. "If you remember the last overtime game that we played them in 08 I iced the kicker and he missed and then he made it. When the time was called and he made the kick there was no way I was going to ice him after that point because I figured the karma has got to turn around and he's got to miss it."
After the Cowboys called the timeout, Whisenhunt actually gave the perception he was going to use his timeout.
"I was faking like I was going to call it," Whisenhunt said. "You go right to the official and say, 'I'm not going to call a timeout, but I'm going to fake like I'm going to' so he's kind of looking at you and you're standing there like you're going to call a timeout and then you obviously don't call it. It's an art form."
DeMarcus Ware has a stinger | ESPN
The articles note that Ware missed only one play because of the injury, which was true at the time. However he was subbed for on several occasions down the stretch. Fortunately, it looks like a major injury was avoided.
Miles Austin expected to practice Wednesday | ESPN
We'll need him. The Giants are not wanting for offense, and a team with four dynamic receiving threats and dual running backs gives this offense a much better chance. Let's just hope that he is fully healthy this return, as Austin wasn't able to make his usual contributions after he returned from the hamstring injury suffered against San Francisco.
Laurent Robinson brushes off shoulder injury | NBC DFW
He returned after halftime and had two catches, for four and 27 yards respectively. The 27 yarder was a huge catch that looked like it was preparing Dallas to get into game-winning field position, but the drive fizzled and the team had to punt.
Martellus Bennett rib injury | ESPN
Bennett received X-rays on his ribs after he appeared to hurt his side midway through the second quarter on a running play before wide receiver Laurent Robinson suffered a right shoulder injury. Bennett remained in the game for the next series, but spent considerable time with head athletic trainer Jim Maurer.
He walked gingerly to the sideline on the final drive and was carted to the locker room as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Cowboys FB Tony Fiammetta set to return to action | DMN
Finally. Cowboys fullback Tony Fiammetta is set to return against the Giants; and looks to start preparation during Wednesday's practice. The blocking back hasn't suited up since Week 10 against Buffalo. In the three games since, Dallas backs have rushed for a 3.6 yards per carry average (vs Arizona: 18 rushes, 74 yards, vs Miami: 22 rushes, 87 yards, vs Washington: 30 rushes, 91 yards)
On the bright side, McBriar was really, really good | NBC DFW
Following McBriar’s punts, ESPN Dallas’s Tim MacMahon points out today, Arizona started at their own 20, 11, 10, 5 and 3--an average starting point of just inside the 10-yard line.
Scandrick disagrees with costly block in the back | NBC DFW
Well, Orlando... it was the right call. Disagree all you want my man.
Playoff scenarios in the wild NFC East | ESPN
ESPN's Dan Graziano goes over every scenario and outcome. Here's my version. Cowboys have to win some games. I'm psychic. Read the link for all the breakdowns.