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Cowboys News & Notes: Dallas Climbs To 4th Overall In NFL Draft Order

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys finally out of playoff chase; McFadden continues to pile up yards for Cowboys; can Kellen Moore be Tony Romo's backup?

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The loss against the Jets yesterday means the Cowboys remain in the race for one of the top draft spots in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Only three teams now have a worse record than the Cowboys: The Titans, Chargers, and Browns all currently sit at 3-10 while the Cowboys sit at 4-10.

Here's the current 2016 NFL Draft order (using the full 16-game schedules).

1. Tennessee Titans: 3-10 (.495 strength of schedule)
2. San Diego Chargers: 3-10 (.524 SOS)
3. Cleveland Browns: 3-10 (.533 SOS)
4. Dallas Cowboys: 4-10 (.543 SOS)
5. Baltimore Ravens: 4-9 (.517 SOS)
6. Detroit Lions: 4-9 (.531 SOS)
7. San Francisco 49ers: 4-9 (.538 SOS)

Jerry Jones: Too early to talk about the positives of a potential top-5 draft pick - Jon Machota, SportsDay
No it's not.

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The Cowboys are still searching for some backup - Andrew Garda, Sports On Earth
If you looked beyond the ugly, you may have seen flashes of promise last night. At least Andrew Garda did.

If the Cowboys can run the game plan the way they did against a very good Jets defense -- run the ball a lot, use shorter passes -- and give Moore a week of practice as a starter so he is more comfortable with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, then they could steal a few games to finish the season.

This is Tony Romo's team, but as Jerry Jones has said, he needs to make sure there is a better quality of backup in case Romo goes down again.

We saw flashes of promise Saturday night. Now we'll get a long look at Moore over the course of the last two games. He's got the best offensive line in football, a great wide receiver, a Hall of Fame tight end and a good running game. If he can't prove it now, it's not happening.

Poise under pressure, guts with his arm; can Kellen Moore be Tony Romo's backup? - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Gosselin credits Moore with getting the wide receivers involved in the game again.

The wide receivers had become non-participants in the Romo-less offense. Weeden continually checked down to the safe passes underneath and Cassel often would lose Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and even Dez Bryant for long stretches in games.

That wasn't the problem with Moore.

Moore wound up throwing 25 passes in his NFL debut and 18 of them were to his wideouts. Why not? Clearly, wide receiver is a strength of this offense and this team. A week earlier, Cassel connected with Bryant on only one of six passes in Green Bay. Moore hooked up with Bryant four times for 50 yards and threw him seven passes on the night. If the kid is ever going to be ready to play in the NFL, it's now. He's got two games to play for his future as a backup to Romo. Let's see what he's got. These last two games could be entertaining.

Why it's funny to think that Kellen Moore is answer for destitute Cowboys after 3-INT game - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw doesn't buy into any of the feel-good stories about Moore.

It's funny to see Moore go 15-for-25 for 158 yards with one TD and three interceptions and be talked about as if he's the answer to some burning question for this destitute team.

Jets survive a close one, stay in wild card race - M.D. Smith, ProFootballTalk
When PFT doesn't have any snark left for you, you've hit the bottom.

Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel was benched after an ugly interception in the first quarter. Kellen Moore replaced Cassel and had a couple ugly interceptions of his own, and his final interception with just seconds remaining sealed the Cowboys’ fate. Still, Moore looked a little more competent than Cassel and probably did enough to keep the starting job for the final two weeks of the season.

Matt Cassel is way worse than Brandon Weeden - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com
The Cowboys were quick to release Weeden, but Ryan Wilson argues they downgraded when they put in Cassel.

According to Football Outsiders, Cassel ranks 30th among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 200 passes this season, ahead of names like Colin Kaepernick, the aforementioned Manning and Nick Foles. Cassel's value over average is a depressing -18.2 percent. By comparison, Weeden, who was benched for Cassel and later cut by the Cowboys, has a value over average of -6.6 percent.

Of course, Jerry Jones liked that Cassel took more chances downfield, and that has blown up in the Cowboys' faces. Though, to Cassel's credit, he has had the common decency to mix in a little comic relief amid all the awful football.

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Quarterback change doesn't change outcome as Cowboys fall to Jets - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer offers up a stat that has got to have you thinking about the coaching of this team.

The Cowboys have been tied or in the lead in the fourth quarter in eight games without Tony Romo and lost seven of them.

The Epicness Of The Cowboys 2015 Meltdown - Blogging The Boys
Even if the Cowboys were to win their next two games the swing in wins from 12-4 last season to 6-10 this year would be a new franchise record in futility.

For the Cowboys, the biggest negative swing in wins from season-to-season so far was -5, when they dropped from 11-5 in 2009 to 6-10 in 2010. The 2010 season cost then-head coach Wade Phillips his job.

Cowboys finally out of playoff chase, lose 19-16 to Jets - USA Today
No more long-shot hopes for Cowboys, who are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.

No more maybe for the Dallas Cowboys. They are finally eliminated from the playoff chase. Dallas (4-10) is done in a division that doesn't have a winning team, a year after winning 12 regular-season games and the NFC East title.

"We've got a long time left here this month and of course a long January. You want to be a part of this thing at this particular time. It's very disappointing," owner Jerry Jones said. "This is nothing like I could have envisioned. Our plan sitting here was we'd really have it together at this time."

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Run defense’s baffling meltdown nearly cost Jets dearly - Bart Hubbuch, New York Post
Hubbuch offers up a reminder that the Jets came into Dallas as the No. 1-ranked unit against the run, and the Cowboys still had their way with them.

"They’ve got one of the better offensive lines in the NFL," Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace said when asked to explain the sudden run troubles. "Tip your hat to them. We’ve been in that situation where your record isn’t what you want it to be and a lot of people count you out, but you’ve got to keep fighting.

"They fought hard," Pace added. "It was probably one of the toughest tests we’ve had all season."

McFadden continues to pile up yards for Cowboys - ESPN Stats & Info
No one has more 100-yard rushing games since the start of Week 9 than Darren McFadden.

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Gavin Escobar is done for season with torn Achilles - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Adding injury to insult, Gavin Escobar is done for the season after tearing his right Achilles in the fourth quarter Saturday.