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Good Bad and Ugly of the Cowboys win

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Good Bad and Ugly of the Cowboys win

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When it comes to Jason Garrett, Vince Lombardi was wrong. 

Winning isn't everything and it isn't the only thing when it comes to the Cowboys coach. If it was, there wouldn't be anyone saying that Garrett didn't do a good enough job in Sunday's 19-14 win over the Panthers. 

The criticism this time is pretty rich. It seems Garrett got too conservative in the final minutes of the game, when the Cowboys drove for two field goals that took the team from a one-point deficit to five-point winners. Most of the time, coming from behind to win in the fourth quarter is something that reflects well on a coach but that's not quite the case for Garrett. 

The Cowboys should have pressed the issue and gone for a touchdown, or so the argument goes. We're sure there would have been a general and loving embrace of that position if the Cowboys threw an interception or left the Panthers a bit more time to answer their score because of an in-completion. After all, it's not like anyone was just screaming at the top of their lungs for the Cowboys to rein in the offense. 

Oh, wait, there were people doing that left and right during the bye week leading up to last week's loss to the Ravens. And there was general good cheer about the decision to run the ball and try to win via the ground attack following an otherwise soul crunching loss. 

Such things come with the territory of being the Cowboys coach so there's no tremendous sympathy for Garrett's plight. But nobody wins for losing sight of the fact that winning games is the point and that's what Garrett and the Cowboys did on Sunday. It might not have been good to watch, but the end result is what counts when they start handing out playoff berths. 

Here's the rest of the good, bad and ugly of Sunday's win. 

GOOD: Morris Claiborne had an interception in the end zone and knocked away a fourth down pass in the final quarter, two big moments in a game decided by one score. The overall strength of the Cowboys defense this season has been a result of better play on the corners, something that was very true on Sunday.

BAD: You would actually think that Garrett would get praise for sticking with a running game that had no life. After last week's explosion in Baltimore, there was reason to hope for more than the Cowboys got on the ground Sunday although Felix Jones' personal history should have tipped everyone off.

GOOD, BAD and UGLY: Dez Bryant seems to wind up in this category every week, although there was a lot more bad and ugly this time around. His presence opens up so much on offense, but his mistakes are so big that it can feel like a losing balance at the end of the day.

BAD: If serious, the injuries to Sean Lee and Phil Costa will make it hard for the Cowboys to generate much positive momentum heading into the final three games of this big five-game stretch. Should DeMarco Murray's absence continue, the Cowboys are going to have plenty of trouble on the talent front against the Giants next weekend.

GOOD: Tony Romo didn't dazzle, but he also didn't make any mistakes that would have pushed the Cowboys onto the wrong end of the final score. The Cowboys should want and expect more, but they can't be unhappy with an efficient performance that looks different if Bryant holds onto a ball in the end zone. 

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