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Cowboys News & Notes: Dallas Comes Up Short Again In Sixth Straight Loss

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys drop another game; Cassel has some success with receivers; the season appears to be slipping away.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys lose again. They played good offense. They played good defense. They even had a big play on special teams. But none of those things mattered because they Cowboys just can't do enough to win the game.

Cowboys Fall To Eagles 33-27 In OT, Dallas' Season Likely In Ashes - Tom Ryle, BTB
Tom Ryle provides his weekly recap of the Cowboys weekly, close-but-no-cigar ball game. I don't want to play spoilers, but trust me - it doesn't end well.

Eagles ride rejuvenated offense past Cowboys in overtime - Eric Prisbell, USA Today
This was a homecoming game for DeMarco Murray and he had a much better showing against his former team than he did the first time they met.

DeMarco Murray, making his first return to AT&T Stadium since departing for Philadelphia in the offseason, also had his moments. He shared a pregame embrace with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And in the game, Murray capped a 13-play drive with a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 9:01 left before halftime.

Bradford's TD pass in OT sends Cowboys to sixth straight loss - Phil Sheridan, ESPN
The Cowboy have now played in two overtime games this season. And both times, their offense has never seen the field as the defense has given up an opening drive touchdown both times.

With help from a replay review that overturned a Ryan Mathews fumble, the Eagles drove 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown. On the play after the erased fumble, Sam Bradford hit Jordan Matthews over the middle for a 41-yard touchdown and a 33-27 victory.

5 thoughts: Even a terrible NFC East might not be enough for Cowboys to stay in playoff hunt - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Jon Machota gives us his five thoughts about the game, including how a weak NFC East may not be enough to save the Cowboys now.

Even a terrible division might not be enough to keep the Cowboys in playoff contention. Sunday night's loss was Dallas' sixth in a row. They are now 2.5 games behind the division leading Giants, who improved to 5-4 earlier in the day. Yes, Tony Romo's getting healthier, but he's still not back for another two games. The Cowboys badly needed this one Sunday night. The crack in the window to a division title is now paper thin.

Instant Review: Staff Writers Give Quick Analysis Of Cowboys-Eagles - Staff, The Mothership
The Cowboys defense only allowed two field goals in the second half, so it felt like they did okay for the most part. Unfortunately, they couldn't make stops at critical points in the game.

David Helman: I honestly thought the Dallas defense would perform admirably and the offense would struggle, but it was the opposite. Yes, Matt Cassel threw a costly pick-six, but he also led the Cowboys to 412 total yards, and he engineered multiple late scoring drives. Darren McFadden was great against a solid Philly front seven, and I nailed my prediction that Dez Bryant would score a touchdown. The defense, meanwhile, surrendered 459 total yards – including a walk-off touchdown in overtime. I actually said the defense would force "a turnover or two," which looks laughable in retrospect. This Cowboys defense is not terrible, but it lacks any kind of ability to make a play when it needs to. They had no shortage of chances to step up – in the fourth quarter and in overtime, for example – and they couldn’t. It was the difference in another winnable game that turned into a loss.

Don’t Forget About These Five: Costly Sack, Untimely Injury & Clutch Kick - Nick Eatman, The Mothership
Nick Eatman highlights five plays that shouldn't be forgotten about.

Williams drops deep ball – While it would’ve been a nice grab for the third-year receiver, that’s a play Terrance Williams has to make and he didn’t. The Cowboys haven’t taken many shots down the field since Tony Romo’s injury, but when they occur, especially against single coverage, they have to be converted. Williams stopped his route and had the chance to make the catch, only for the ball to go straight through his hands on third down, forcing a Cowboys punt. A catch there puts the ball at least inside the Eagles’ 40-yard line.

Cowboys have one of better games without Tony Romo, but not enough - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
One of the most frustrating things about this loss was just how many things went well for Dallas.

Running back Darren McFadden out gained ex Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. McFadden, signed the day after Murray signed with the Eagles, recorded his 15th career 100-yard game with 117 yards on 27 carries. It marked the first time in his career that he has had three consecutive games with 20-plus carries.

Matt Cassel looked like a different quarterback out there on Sunday night. Seriously, his face looked different.

Gosselin: Cowboys' playoff hopes are officially on life support - Rick Gosselin, DMN
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if a team losses six straight games at some point in the season, it's probably not likely that people will try to convince you they're going to the playoffs. So I'm not even going to try.

With the New York Giants winning Sunday to move to 5-4, it will likely take a 9-7 record to win the East. That means the Cowboys must now go 7-1 the rest of the way. That's a tall order, even for Romo, with games remaining against Carolina, Green Bay and the Jets plus a post-Christmas trip in Buffalo. And that's assuming they can get past Tampa Bay on the road next week. That would be a dangerous assumption.

But this guy is going to give it a go...

It’s insane, but the Cowboys *still* aren’t dead in the NFC East - Chris Chase, For The Win
Here's a reason to still have hope...if that's your thing.

Since 1990, no team has made the playoffs coming off a 2-6 record. Strike, Dallas. But in 2012, a 3-6 team made it out of the NFC East because, lo and behold, the division was filled with parity and Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins took advantage, rolling off seven straight wins to win the East.

So basically, they just got to find a way to get to 3-6 and it's all gravy from there.

Jerry Jones: What still gives me hope in Cowboys - Brandon George, SportsDay
Jerry Jones is still managing to keep his head up.

"First of all, the intense way our team is competing, and it's competing on both sides of the ball," Jones said. "They're basically doing, from the standpoint of effort, their passion, their competitiveness, they're going right down to the last play and have for the last several games, so we want to keep that. We have to have that. We have to put the pieces together to get a win."

Cowboys might not be able to get up from yet another body blow - David Moore, DMN
The Cowboys almost got a turnover and I got really excited for a moment. I don't know why they always have to check that stupid replay and just don't take the referees word for it.

For the third time in this losing streak, the Cowboys defense had a turnover reversed by instant replay. It was clear that Mathews' knee hit the ground before the ball came out.

Cowboys' season appears to be over; Greg Hardy might not be worth it - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Bob Sturm answers a few questions.

Why couldn't the Cowboys make a defensive play?

To me there are a couple things. Tonight, the longer the game went on, the more gassed they looked. They looked exhausted. That's where the gap integrity on the Philadelphia run plays got compromised, especially around the right edge. Once that started becoming a problem, the Cowboys tried to cheat against the run and guys got loose in the secondary. Jordan Matthews had a few big plays. The middle of the field was vacated. The second element is that it looked like the Cowboys' defense was in pretty good shape with Sean Lee back there. When he went out in the third quarter, Rolando McClain showed he is not near his level from 2014. And Anthony Hitchens went out (with injury), and the Cowboys' personnel at linebacker was badly exposed in the second half continuously.

If you're looking for a link talking more about Greg Hardy, you won't find it, but I will include the important part of the Greg Hardy story on Sunday night, which is:

He had a unsportsmanlike penalty on an extra point, which was bad. He had an encroachment penalty, which was also bad. And he had a sack on third down, which was good.

Frustration level rises as Cowboys let another close game slip away - Rainer Sabin, SportsDay
The frustration continues to grow as the team just cannot pull out a close game.

"We played hard. We did a lot of great things out there. But when it comes to down to executing those got-to-have-it plays, they just got one too many on us tonight," Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said. "That's the game of football. It's a game of inches." Said safety Barry Church: "This year, I feel like we're one play here or one step here from being 6-2 instead of 2-6."