Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a leaping touchdown catch past Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter September 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
10. Cowboys this season when getting 6 takeaways: 1-0. Cowboys this season when getting 0 takeaways: 0-1. As we’ve said all summer, their offense needs help.
9. For all you disgruntled fans bemoaning the “same ol’ Cowboys”, not so fast. Yes, it’s another close loss with key plays botched in crunch time. But the Cowboys under Jason Garrett have been better than you remember in nail-biters. Since mid-2010 Dallas is now 10-7 in games decided by three points or less and 15-14 in games decided by a touchdown or less. This year? A five-point win and a one-point loss.
8. Tony Romo just has to be better. I know he was 30 of 42 for almost 300 yards and no interceptions. But his accuracy was off all day. And in the fourth quarter – despite given time by the offensive line – he made hurried decisions and horrible throws.
7. For all it did right, Cowboys’ defense somehow turned Alex Smith into Johnny Manziel. KC’s quarterback was its leading rusher with 57 yards.
6. The more teams like the Chiefs – all-red, anyone? – tinker with their uniforms, the more you appreciate the Cowboys’ classic look. Andy Reid looked like Santa Claus.
5. Pet peeve: Why did Fox’s Chris Myers keep calling it the “Cowboy defense”? It’s Cowboys, with an "s." Unless Dallas was playing with just one man on the field.
4. Worst call of the day: Receiver screen to Terrance Williams. Cowboys – who actually had first-and-goal at the 5 – faced third-and-goal from the 9 on their first possession of the second half. Despite Dez Bryant being single covered, Romo threw to the rookie for a loss of three and a resulting field goal to make it only 13-7. Huge opportunity flubbed. Dez has to get a shot in the Red Zone.
3. Another missed opportunity was Dez’ drop. Trailing only 17-13 midway through fourth quarter, Romo launched a perfect pass to a streaking No. 88 near the 50. Two hands on the ball. In stride. Blatant drop. He had a dominant day, but that one just can’t happen. Dez had nine catches for 141. Add that drop and another 22-yarder negated by offensive pass interference and he’s up around 11 catches for 200. Of course, I think he “caught” a break on his long pass to set up Dallas’ only TD. Looked like the ball moved in his arms after hitting the ground.
2. Dez’s drop and Lance Dunbar’s fumble and Romo’s mediocre accuracy and – yep, again – the Cowboys’ mismanagement of time/timeouts. Down by one with 3:50 to play, head coach Jason Garrett started using his timeouts. After first down. Why? You wait until after second down to see if you have an advantageous down-and-distance. Cowboys aren’t good enough to not be managed perfectly. Best to hope for in that situation is to get the ball back at 2-minute warning with at least one timeout remaining. Cowboys inefficiently wasted theirs. Combined with defense giving up three critical first downs, ball game.
1. Looked like a legit pass-interference penalty on Morris Claiborne to me. The bumping and nudging within five yards of the line was okay, but his left arm hooked Donnie Avery’s neck while the ball was in the air. The cornerback would have been much better off to let the receiver make the catch and then make a tackle short of the first down.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.