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Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Mistakes Lead To Disappointing Loss To Giants

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys suffer tough loss to Giants; Matt Cassel makes too many mistakes; Darren McFadden has a breakout performance; Dez Bryant and Greg Hardy exchange pleasantries.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

What a tough pill to swallow. The Dallas Cowboys moved the ball as well as we've seen all season, but couldn't make it count. The defense kept the New York Giants to 13 points, yet the Giants find other ways to score. The Cowboys endured another game where they are on the wrong end of a lopsided turnover differential and it proves very costly.

Cowboys Fall To Giants By A Final Score Of 27-20 As Cassel Throws Three Interceptions - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
Our own Tom Ryle gives his weekly game recap and identifies a few surprise players that provided that the Cowboys an offensive boost.

There were some unexpected players who certainly stepped up for Dallas. Darren McFadden had his first 100 yard game of his Cowboys tenure, getting 152 total. Brice Butler had some very key catches, and Devin Street made a beautiful catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The running game finally found itself as it began to wear the Giants down late, and Dallas had 233 yards on the ground.

It was great to see these other guys involved, but it was strange that Cassel and Cole Beasley did't hit it off. Beasley had a rough day with the costly muffed punt and just didn't seem to have his head in the game today.

Three thoughts: Turnovers haunt Cowboys, who drop to last place in NFC East - Jon Machota, DMN
Jon Machota gives us his three thoughts on the game, including the apparent trade-off you get by making the QB switch to Matt Cassel.

There doesn't appear to be a middle ground at the Cowboys backup QB position. Either you get the conservative Brandon Weeden or the risk-taking Matt Cassel. Instead of going with the high percentage throws throughout, Cassell took quite a few chances Sunday. Three of them did not go well. However, he never seemed to back down, continuing to throw downfield, tying the game before Dwayne Harris' TD return. Two of his best throws came in the second quarter, a 35-yard gain to Jason Witten and a 27-yarder to Terrance Williams. He then had two nice completions to Williams and Devin Street to tie the game. That's the Cassel Garrett wants to see. The one that threw three consecutive second-half picks is not.

Jerry Jones: Cowboys will stick with Matt Cassel until Tony Romo returns - DMN Staff
Matt Cassel was cruising along fine with three scoring drives in the first half, but then things got ugly for him quick. Here are some twitter reactions to his interceptions.

New QB Matt Cassel gives Cowboys what they want, but it comes at a price - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
There was no question that Cassel took some chances on Sunday, but maybe he needs to attack the team's weaker corner next time.

"Cromartie made two good plays," Cassel said. "Both of my reads took me there but at the same time you have to understand who you're going up against. He's a veteran corner and I have to have a better understanding, especially being in the league as long as I have, who you want to try to pick on and who you don't."

Better Cowboys Quarterback: Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
Finkle and Einhorn? Weeden and Cassel? It's clear that any QB the Cowboys have out there that isn't named Romo is going to draw criticism. I mean, Matt Cassel throws three measly picks and people are already calling him terrible.

There is certainly a stark difference between Weeden and Cassel. And the Cowboys supporting cast has struggled at times to support either quarterback. Weeden has a cannon for an arm but often plays far to conservative. Cassel seems to have a noodle for an arm, but he isn’t afraid to take chances. Both styles have their flaws. And both players have yet to win a game for the Cowboys as a starter.

McFadden's big game goes to waste in Cowboys' loss - Chris Wesseling,
With all the talk about who was going to start at running back, Joseph Randle or Christine Michael, it was another running back that took hold of the reigns and ran with them. The Cowboys offense was full of bright spots as they gained a season high 460 yards with a 233 yard rushing effort. It was a coming out game for the Cowboys free agent signing, Darren McFadden as he flourished in his first game getting a heavy workload.

Darren McFadden excelled in the workhorse role after Joseph Randle left early with a back strain. Paced by a hard-charging McFadden consistently moving the chains against a stout run defense, the Cowboys dominated time of possession (38:04 to 21:56), total yards (460 to 289) and first downs (27-13). McFadden generated 162 yards and a score on 31 touches. He would have added another 31-yard touchdown on a screen pass if not for a questionable Street penalty. McFadden played well enough to earn a larger share of the backfield pie going forward.

And McFadden got a little help from the guys up front.

McFadden’s Solid Play, McClain’s Struggles Among Thoughts - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
Broaddus gives us his 12 thoughts, including one huge observation that was a sight for sore eyes - the great play of the offensive line.

Give this Dallas offensive line some credit. The Giants came into the game with one of the best run defenses in the league and the Cowboys offensive line hammered them. It just goes to show that when you have a running back who is willing to attack and blockers that get hats-on-hats, there is an outstanding chance to see the offense have the same success running the ball like they did last season. This was the best sign of the game, in my opinion.

Cowboys vs. Giants: Score and Twitter Reaction from 2015 Regular Season - Tyler Conway, Bleacher Report
More twitter reactions, including this one.

The Cowboys said he was going to be more involved, but I was just expecting it to be a little more than just five carries.

Darren McFadden up, Matt Cassel down in Dallas Cowboys' loss - NFC East - Todd Archer, ESPN
It seems like every time a Giants receiver makes a great, one-handed catch, you can always find Brandon Carr right there in the mix. The Cowboys had a great opportunity to get good field position after the Giants had a third down play deep in their own territory, but it all changed with one big play.

One of Cassel’s picks led to New York taking over at its 1, but Carr let the Giants off the hook by giving up a 44-yard catch to Rueben Randle on third down. Randle may have gained some separation with a nudge, but Carr appeared to relax at the last second and Randle made a one-handed grab.

Devin Street amazing tip-toe TD grab for Cowboys vs Giants (Video) - Jack Jorgensen, Fansided
Devin Street, who has been active in all six games this season was actually seen doing stuff, including a very nice fourth quarter, touchdown reception.

Cowboys "drop the ball" against Giants 27-20 - Mark Lane, Scout
As soon as something good would happen for Dallas, something bad would follow.

Then, the "demon from special teams past" haunted Dallas. Receiver Dwayne Harris, a captain of the special teams a year prior, returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to put the Giants ahead by seven again at 27-20 after the extra point. The sudden score upset Dallas defense end Greg Hardy so much he had to be calmed on the sidelines by teammates, including the inactive-but-healing Dez Bryant.

Cowboys pay big for not re-signing Swiss Army Knife Dwayne Harris - Kevin Sherrington, DMN
This season, the Cowboys have faced several of their former players that they let go in free agency, but none hurt worse than Harris' big return. It gave me 2013 flashbacks.

When Harris fielded a kick at the goal line with a little more than 7 minutes left in the game, the score was tied after Matt Cassel's and Devin Street's finest moments as Cowboys. The good feelings quickly faded when Harris started up the middle, then went right when Kyle Wilber went left. From there it was nothing but green turf and Dan Bailey between Harris and revenge.

Dwayne Harris' 100-yard kickoff return the difference as Giants edge Cowboys - Alec Brzezinski, Sporting News
Just as the Cowboys got themselves back in the game, they were quickly torched by an old friend.

Dallas Cowboys: Ex-Cowboys coach: Dallas defense unreliable; ESPN analyst knocks Matt Cassel - SportsDay Staff
Overall, the defense played well. They held the Giants to 10 points in the first half and only three in the second half. But for all their good play, the Cowboys continue to not be able to force turnovers. Former Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dave Wannstedt weighs in.

"To have a defense carry your football team, they have to be advantageous from the standpoint of creating turnovers, setting the offense up for easy scores," he said. "The Cowboys haven't (forced) a turnover in the last three games."

Dez Bryant and Greg Hardy blow up during sideline yelling match - Chris Chase, For The Win
Oh yeah, and there was a little sideline activity going on, but I'm sure it will just get lost in the shuffle of all the really important news.

During the back-and-forth NFC East battle between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants — eventually won by New York, sending Dallas to the cellar of the NFC Least — injured receiving star Dez Bryant chased down the defense when it got off the field and, smiling a little, ended up having words with the team’s new, controversial defensive stalwart, Greg Hardy.

Dez Bryant-Greg Hardy fight: Cowboys teammates argue (video) - Staff
Greg Hardy would answer several questions in which he offered up very descriptive, well-thought out responses.

Time to panic? Cowboys blow golden opportunity; defense fails - Bob Sturm, DMN
When Brandon Weeden played well, the Cowboys still lost. When he didn't, they got smoked. Matt Cassel didn't play well, yet the Cowboys still had a shot. It makes me wonder how things would go when he plays well. So if anyone is already losing patience, Bob Sturm explains why the team is better off by continuing to roll with Cassel.

Should they go back to Weeden?

Absolutely not. Cassel made some correctable errors. He gave them a much better opportunity, but a much better opportunity in a debate of backup quarterbacks still falls short of what you would get from starter in this league of Tony Romo's caliber. His willingness to stand in the pocket to give his guys a chance and his ability to make some positive plays a couple touchdowns and a couple interceptions is what you probably expected. This is life with a backup. He'll make some plays for you and unfortunately make some throws you wish he wouldn't. The comparison between Cassel and Weeden is a QB who gives you a chance vs. the guy who doesn't give you a chance and plays it safe. I thought Cassel looked the part for the most part. It only makes a couple mistakes in this league to make the positive things just details in a loss.

A once promising season continues to slip away for last-place Cowboys David Moore, DMN
The Cowboys playoff hopes came down to the final week of the regular season during their mediocre, 8-8 seasons. Now, with the best team they've had in years, it's only six games into the season and fans are feeling it slip away.

The Cowboys have now gone 35 days since their last victory. And counting. A team that lost only four games last season has now sunk to 2-4 with a game against Seattle next. Even Jerry Jones, the eternal optimist, found it difficult to be upbeat after watching his team lose its fourth consecutive game and its first division road game since December of 2012.

"It's a far cry from where I thought we would be, won-lost,'' the owner said. "It's a far cry from where I thought we would be with key personnel, the injuries to key personnel. "The challenge is daunting.''

The Cowboys may have lost four straight and sit at 2-4, but the Philadelphia Eagles lost again and are 3-4. The Giants lead the pack at 4-3, but it's still hard to imagine them stringing a bunch of wins together. The Cowboys may not be winning, but they're still hanging around.

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