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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Cowboys Loss

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Tony Romo threw two interceptions in a game that the Cowboys lost by a touchdown, a state of affairs that is usually a recipe for the quarterback to wear goat horns. 

    Romo's picks certainly hurt the Cowboys in their 38-31 loss to the Redskins on Thursday, but the idea that they were the driving force is greatly misguided. Romo's play was actually the reason why the Cowboys had even a snowball's chance in hell of pulling out a victory on Thanksgiving. 

    Now, the king of the turkeys was Rob Ryan and a defense that simply couldn't make stops against Robert Griffin III. While they aren't likely to be the last defense completely befuddled by the rookie that has taken the NFL by storm, that's small consolation given the damage done by the result of the game. The Cowboys had a game they could win and half the team didn't show up for work. 

    The Cowboys couldn't stop the run, they got burnt on play action time after time and the tackling was absymal all day. The best player on the Cowboys defense, linebacker DeMarcus Ware, was a total non-factor outside of one good hit after Griffin already delivered a pass for a first down and the Cowboys seemed totally unprepared for what the Redskins planned to do on offense. 

    Ryan's the guy who needs to get the blame for that. Like his brother, who might have actually had a worse Thanksgiving, Ryan talks a great game about what his team is going to do and then sits back and watches as they do the exact opposite. At some point, the play has to speak for itself. Until it does, Ryan's part of the problem. 

    Here's the rest of the good, bad and ugly from a disappointing Thanksgiving loss. 

    GOOD: Dez Bryant continues to touch the ceiling. He's turned in two spectacular performances in a row and his 145 yards and two touchdowns were vital to the team getting close enough to lose bitterly on Thursday. You still want more from Bryant, but the blame has to fall on the coaches calling the offense at this point.

    BAD: The offensive line is a pit of despair right now and the Cowboys might not be scoring at all if Romo weren't so adept at making plays on the move. The running game is a joke that DeMarco Murray probably wouldn't be able to fix and there's not much in the way of hope on the horizon.

    UGLY: Danny McCray blew coverage on the long touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson and he missed a key tackle on Leonard Hankerson that might have kept the Redskins from kicking the insurance field goal in the fourth quarter. Injuries helped move McCray into the lineup, but better depth should be high on the Cowboys list going forward. 

    GOOD: Anthony Spencer was the exception to the rule of the Cowboys defense underachieving mightily. He had two sacks, 10 tackles and flashed the versatility that's kept him in Dallas even while many scream for more obvious productivity.

    UGLY: The injuries to Miles Austin, Bruce Carter and Orlando Scandrick left the Cowboys almost impossibly thin on Thursday. If any or all of them are out for the rest of the season, Dallas' chances of capitalizing on an easy schedule are going to drop to almost imperceptible levels.