10. Somehow, some way, someone will try to blame this latest Cowboys’ kick-to-the-crotch loss on Tony Romo. Stop. Before you even start.
9. This stings: Before today NFL teams with a minus-4 turnover margin were 1-54. After the inexplicable finish in Detroit NFL teams with a minus-4 turnover are now 2-54. The Lions committed eight penalties, turned the ball over four times, and won.
8. Dick Stockton on Fox with 1:14 remaining: “The Cowboys will go 5-3 and … “ Ouch.
7. The Cowboys have played eight games this season. They have allowed four 400-yard-plus passing days by opposing quarterbacks. The good? They have created 19 takeaways. They created 16 all of last season.
6. Dez Bryant’s one-handed catch over two defenders is a strong candidate for the NFL’s touchdown catch of the year. And his sideline outburst is an early nominee for petulant tantrum of the year. With Dez, you gotta accept the bad with the good. I just fear that he’ll simultaneously blossom/deteriorate into Terrell Owens: A talented player who can carry an offense, but also with the temperament to divide a locker and crater a team’s chemistry.
5. Injuries aren’t an excuse for what happened, but they are certainly a reason. On Detroit’s final possession Matthew Stafford’s completions of 40 yards to Kris Durham and 22 to Calvin Johnson both came in front of backup safety who was only activated from the practice squad 24 hours ago - Jakar Hamilton. He was in for the injured Danny McCray, who was in for the injured Barry Church. And he was alongside Jeff Heath, who was in for the injured J.J. Wilcox.
4. Brandon Carr is a veteran with Pro Bowls on his resume. He was over-matched by Calvin Johnson, who bullied and leaped and caught his way to the second-best receiving day in NFL history. He finished with 329 yards receiving, only seven shy of Flipper Anderson’s all-time record of 336 set in ‘89. And, to think, his day included a fumble and an almost-catch that resulted in a Sean Lee interception.
3. Of all the head-scratching, heart-breaking plays, Tyron Smith’s holding penalty on Dallas’ last possession was the biggest. The Cowboys led 27-24 and faced 3rd-and-14 from Detroit’s 35 with 1:14 remaining. A hand-off to Phillip Tanner got nine yards to the 25. He was tackled inbounds with 1:07 remaining. With the Lions out of timeouts, the Cowboys could have run the clock down another 39 seconds, called a timeout and kicked the Dan Bailey field goal. In that scenario the Lions would’ve gotten the ball back down by six points with around :25 left. But Smith was – correctly I might add, he had two handfuls of jersey – called for a holding penalty that stopped the clock before Bailey’s field goal. Instead, the Lions got the ball back with 1:02 remaining and Matthew Stafford dove in for the winning score with :12 left. Nauseating.
2. The Cowboys surrendered 623 yards. Six-Hundred-Twenty-Three! Most in franchise history by 40 yards (583 vs. Oilers in ’91). They also allowed 24 points in the fourth quarter, most ever by an opponent (22 vs. Seahawks in ’04). I can’t believe they were in a position to win this game. But even more than that, I can’t believe they found a way to lose this game.
1. As I’ve said before, I love Dez. He’s a fantastic player having a monster season that most of us saw coming. But let’s hit the pause button on all the “maturity” talk. His sideline outbursts today were selfish and detrimental to his team. Don’t believe me? Fine. I’m pretty sure DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten – veteran team captains with a combined 20 years in this league – agreed with me. Both were screaming and having to physically restrain themselves from ripping No. 88’s arrogant head off.
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.