It may sound strange, but what happened against the New York Jets was probably about the best scenario for the Cowboys. The game was close enough to stay interesting. The defense looked good. Demarcus Lawrence continues to pick it up and has had an outstanding second half to the season. The Cowboys didn't hurt their draft position. And Kellen Moore didn't play well enough to change the idea that the Cowboys are going to have to bring in some better talent at the QB position. But he did play well enough to earn the start for next week's game...or did he?
What The ... Garrett Not Ready To Name Kellen Moore Starting QB? - OCC, BTB
Jason Garrett doesn't show his cards if he doesn't have to, but it doesn't take Daniel Negreanu to sniff this one out.
"We'll go back, and we'll evaluate the tape, and we'll make the determinations and really throw out a roster as to who we want to play and how we want to play it," Garrett said. "Our focus is to win a ballgame, and the byproduct when you get to this time of the season with where we are, there's an opportunity to evaluate every player."
I can't imagine a situation where going back to Matt Cassel is the correct play, so my chips are going on the kid from Boise State.
Cowboys Hope Extinguished With Two Moore(?) Games To Play - Mickey Spagnola, The Mothership
The Cowboys didn't waste a lot of time going to Moore as he came in early in the second quarter.
Moore would show promise the rest of the way, finishing up competing 15-of-25 passes for 158 yards and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, giving the Cowboys a halftime lead, 10-9, for the first time in their past four games. Before the night was over, Moore showed a pretty good command of the offense, actually completing passes to Cole Beasley, Brice Butler and Jason Witten, too.
And there's this...
He would even convert two of his eight third-down opportunities, which is as many as Cassel had in his last 23 attempts.
I'm no mathematician, but that clearly means he's about 3 times as good as Cassel, right?
Kellen Moore's debut a losing one, but he gives Cowboys fans something to cheer - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Cowboys fans have been starved for a quarterback that can make plays. While Moore made some mistakes, it's still a sight for sore eyes to see something positive on offense. Jason Garrett knows he's not perfect and recognizes the good he brings:
But I do think he did some good things. He made some good throws at critical moments, kept drives alive. I thought he was comfortable for his first time out. Obviously, you have to eliminate the mistakes. But there were some good things in his performance."
It's never a good thing when you have to start four quarterbacks in a season.
The last time the Cowboys started a season 4-10 also marked the last time they started four quarterbacks in a season. In 2001, Dallas had Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf and Clint Stoerner at quarterback and finished 5-11.
Position Grades for the Dallas Cowboys - Joey Ickes, Bleacher Report
Our old friend, Joey Ickes gives us his report card. You don't need a letter grade to tell you that DeMarcus Lawrence made the honor roll for this game.
The defensive line was disruptive on the night, as the unit generated two sacks, six tackles for loss and six quarterback hits. Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence each put up a sack, and Lawrence led the defensive line in total tackles with seven and tackles for loss with four.
Five thoughts: Final two games belong to Kellen Moore; DeMarcus Lawrence one bright spot for Cowboys - Jon Machota, SportsDay
While one Boise State guy is garnering all the attention, it was another Boise State player that is quietly emerging as one of the team's best defenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence continues to produce. The left defensive end picked up his team-leading seventh sack in the second quarter, bringing down Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for no gain with 1:11 remaining in the first half. Lawrence continues to be the Cowboys' most productive defensive lineman. Over the last six games, last year's second-round pick has six sacks and 11 QB pressures. During the first three quarters Saturday night, Lawrence had four tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback hit. Lawrence brought down New York running back Chris Ivory for one-yard losses twice in a three-play series late in the first quarter.
Cowboys rookie Byron Jones learns tough lesson - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Jets WR, Kenbrell Thompkins got behind Jones for a big 43-yard catch that set up the game winning field goal. When I first watched the play, I thought J.J. Wilcox was late arriving with help. Whatever the case, it's good to see the rookie own up to it.
"It’s Cover 2, so in two-minute we like to play it from off coverage," Jones said. "I was playing press, and once I turned -- I didn’t know it, but he was flying up the sideline. Before I knew it the ball was going over my head. For me, that’s Corner 101. ... That one’s on me."
Cowboys cornerback dislocated his knee and popped it back in like he was folding down the leg of a table - James Dator, SBNation.com
Byron Jones may have had freakish results at the combine, but I'm starting to question whether or not he's human.
"It just felt stuck for a little bit. I just straightened it out and it felt good," he said in the postgame locker room. "I didn't notice it was over to the side. I felt it stuck a little bit, so I just slowly straightened it and it just felt good from there."
If you are squeamish, you might want to look away.
Maybe Byron Jones is like Bruce Willis in that "Unbreakable" movie. Of course for him to exist, that means there has to be a Mr. Glass. Speaking of which...
Dallas Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne should be OK to play Sunday at Buffalo Bills - Brandon George, SportsDay
Before the season began, I felt it was a foregone conclusion that 2015 would be Morris Claiborne's final season in Dallas. But after some promising play this season, that decision isn't so cut and dry. These last two games could be crucial when it comes to determining Mo's future in big D.
This will be an important last two games for Claiborne. The 2012 sixth overall pick out of LSU will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
Ten Dallas Cowboys who deserve to be fired in 2016 - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
Do you have your list put together as to which Cowboys you think deserve a pink slip? Well, Steven Mullenax does, including a familiar name that always seems to be showing up on this list every off-season.
Carr will likely go down as one of the worst free agent signings in Cowboys history, recording a total of six interceptions in four seasons. And he’s had no takeaways in the past two years. Carr’s coverage skills are far too inconsistent. And his ball-hawking abilities are all but disappeared.
Don’t Forget About These 5: Early Gain Called Back, Costly Drop & More - Nick Eatman, The Mothership
If you were playing a drinking game where you had to take a shot every time the Cowboys almost got a takeaway, you'd be piss drunk by halftime. I swear if this team didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all.
Fumble not rewarded – Late in the first quarter, the Jets were driving when on a third-down pass over the middle, Eric Decker converted a first down, but lost the ball right when his knee touched the ground. Initially, the side official ruled it a fumble and pointed toward the Cowboys for possession. However, another referee came in and ruled it down. The official ruling was down by contact, so when the Cowboys had to challenge, the initial ruling stood. Had the first official been able to keep his call, the play still would’ve been reviewed, but likely would’ve stayed as called on the field. The Jets kept the ball and took the lead on a touchdown run a few plays later.
But the Cowboys did finally get one, and it came from an unlikely candidate.
Jets 19, Cowboys 16: My Top 10 Whitty Comments - Richie Whitt, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
It took a practice squad guy to finally get an interception by a cornerback. For those who were confused by the release of Tyler Patmon, the pick by Mitchell at least makes it look like the coaching staff knows what they're doing.
Good news is that newly promoted Terrance Mitchell picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter. Bad news is that it is the first interception by a Cowboys’ cornerback this season, and in 559 passes dating back to 2014.
Dallas Cowboys can now put Tony Romo on IR after being eliminated - Todd Archer, ESPN
With the Cowboys positively, absolutely eliminated from the playoffs, they no longer need to keep Romo in their back pocket for one of those "just in case" situations. The only question now, is who's going to be the new Cowboy?
"We’ll see what our need is there," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "If we see an opportunity to improve the roster that’ll be more of a possibility tomorrow than it was today."
And for you UFC fans out there, Carolina Panthers cornerback, Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. provided some extracurricular activities on Sunday. While both of them had their own moments, it was Beckham Jr. who was like Woody Woodpecker out there - a giant instigator.
Odell Beckham Jr. will be fined, perhaps suspended, but should have been ejected - Kevin Seifert, ESPN
Dez Bryant gets a bad rap at times for not being able to control his emotions when frustration hits, but I can't remember him ever behaving as poorly as Beckham Jr. did on Sunday.
Odell Beckham Jr. can expect hefty fines and possibly more for his dirty play and extracurricular activities Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Perhaps the most surprising takeaway, however, was that referee Terry McAulay allowed the New York Giants star receiver to finish his team's 38-35 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Cam Newton should hand his next TD ball to Odell since he wants to act like a child— Hall of Fame (@HOFSportsTalk) December 20, 2015