Before Sunday’s intriguing matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, teams with a minus-four turnover margin in a single game had a 43-663 record since the 1970 merger. Now bare with me here because I am no mathematician, but if I were not mistaken, that would give the Cowboys about a 94% chance of winning, if in fact the Lions were to commit four turnovers against them and the Cowboys were to take care of the football for an entire game.
Those are pretty good odds of winning, but the likelihood of a banged up Cowboys defense causing a talented Lions offense to turn the ball over four times did not seem too high.
Sunday’s game went against all odds, though, and despite turning the ball over four times, the Lions rallied late to defeat the Cowboys 31-30 in dramatic fashion.
With just 29 seconds left in the game and the clock ticking after Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had hauled in a Matthew Stafford pass down to the one-yard line, Stafford hurried his teammates up to the line and fooled everyone by hurdling over his offensive line to score the sneaky game-winning touchdown.
This heartbreaking loss was a similar result to the one the Cowboys suffered Week 5 to the Denver Broncos, in a sense that, well, they blew it.
Some may argue that the offense for the Cowboys played not to lose near the end of the game, trying to run out the clock by handing the ball off to running back Joseph Randle. But the defense collapsed, and “Megatron” had a mega game and was too much to handle for Brandon Carr and the rest of the Cowboys.
Johnson tore up the Cowboys, beating any type of coverage that was brought his way and was just seven yards shy of breaking Flipper Anderson’s NFL receiving record with 329 yards. He also was able to find the end zone once. And for all the fantasy players out there, Johnson could have had even more points for you, but he was stopped inside the 5-yard line four times.
On the other side, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, whom everyone was comparing Johnson to heading into the game, scored two touchdowns on 72 yards receiving. Despite the solid stat line, Bryant still managed to damage his image for most.
Bryant was caught on camera throwing multiple fits, yelling at coaches and teammates. Some are saying it is because he was not getting the ball enough and that he is still an immature punk. Bryant said after the game, though, it was just passion.
No matter what the reasoning behind Bryant’s outbursts was, it is unacceptable as a professional athlete in the NFL. Bryant needs to harness his emotions better and gain more control of himself in situations similar to those which happened Sunday.
Bryant is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, and he has a long career ahead of him. Having said that, this should be addressed within the Cowboys locker room and have people help him along the way if he wants to achieve a good image. I have no doubt this won’t be a problem going forward, and Bryant will have continued success and even has a chance to become one of the all-time greats when it is all said and done.
On a positive note, rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams from Baylor University continues to improve every single week. Williams scored a touchdown for the fourth straight game against the Lions, setting a franchise record for most consecutive games with a touchdown reception.
Oh, and how about Sean Lee? The linebacker seems to be everywhere for the Cowboys’ defense, intercepting two of Stafford’s passes Sunday and racking up a team-high 10 tackles. That extension the Cowboys gave him is being well earned.
With the loss, the Cowboys are back to a familiar .500 record, sitting at 4-4. But I believe this is what the Cowboys are: mediocre.
The teams they have beaten are the: Rams, Giants, Redskins and Eagles, who currently all have losing records. Even though they “could” have easily won against the Lions and in multiple games earlier in the season, the bottom line is they did not.
Aside from all the drama the Cowboys will go through Sunday and all of the criticism the team will face this week, they are still in first place in the NFC East.
The Cowboys return home in Week 9 and will take on the Minnesota Vikings from AT&T Stadium.