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Five Observations: Cowboys’ Rolando McClain Brought Nothing But Bad Luck

It wouldn’t be Sunday if the Cowboys didn’t lose another close game. Here are five quick observations from this heartbreaking defeat.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys dropped another game, this time to the rival Philadelphia Eagles. This is a disappointing loss that featured many moments where you'd start to feel good, only to have that feeling snatched away. It was another emotional gut-punch for Cowboys' fans. Hare are five quick takeaways from the game.

1. Rolando McClain just kept getting in the way

It seems like every time something bad happened, McClain was right in the middle of it. It was like Clark Griswold was out there on the football field just trying to lend a hand. Tragedy first struck when Sean Lee was knocked out of the game with a concussion after McClain collided with him. Lee was tackling DeMarco Murray after a short passing play when McClain tried to help. That was just the beginning of a series of bad things that followed McClain. Later in that same drive, Ryan Mathews scored on a six-yard run and as Anthony Hitchens was chasing after him, he had to jump over McClain. And on this play, Hitchens hurt his ankle. Neither Lee nor Hitchens would return and the Eagles running backs would take full advantage.

McClain also got in the way of Byron Jones which allowed Jordan Matthews to cut across the field for a big 34 yard pass completion late in the fourth quarter. This put the Eagles in position to kick the field goal that put them up with only 1:51 remaining in the game.

2. Cassel figured out how to find his receivers

After only targeting Cole Beasley once last week, Matt Cassel would make amends by looking Beasley's way 11 times. Beasley would lead the Cowboys in receiving with nine catches for 112 yards, two of which would find the end zone.

This one.

And that one.

As great as it was to see these two make friends, it was sure a sight for sore eyes to see Dez Bryant out there doing Dez Bryant things. He finished the game with five catches for 104 yards, but he gets extra style points for this one

3. David Irving is a good player

He first grabbed everyone's attention after the blocked field goal in the Seattle game, but he doesn't appear to be a one-game wonder. I don't know his snap counts, but he was making plays. He tackled Ryan Mathews for a four-yard loss early in the first quarter. And then he stopped Darren Sproles for no gain right before the end of the first half. He also was able to put pressure on Sam Bradford a couple times in the game. This kid's looks like a real athlete and could be something legitimate for this team in the future.

4. Too many penalties

The Cowboys committed eight penalties for 58 yards, but most of those came early in the game as they had five penalties for 44 yards in the first half. And some of these penalties were tough blows for the team. The Cowboys wasted no time making these costly mistakes as Jeff Heath was called for running into the kicker after the defense got made the Eagles go three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. The penalty would give the Eagles a new set of downs.

Morris Claiborne would also reset the Eagles' chains with a holding penalty when he was too grabby with Miles Austin on a third and eleven play.

5. The Cowboys stopped tackling

In the early part of the game, the Cowboys did a great job limiting yards after the catch as they would stop the receivers in their tracks. But they would struggle late in the game. The Eagles would constantly turn small runs into big runs as the Cowboys tacklers would take poor angles and fail to wrap up the runners.

With mistakes and issues like this, it's no wonder the Cowboys dropped the game and slid to 2-6 on the season.

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