Right when it looks like the Dallas Cowboys have finally figured things out and they start to look like the team that everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the year, they show signs that they are once again not ready to be a playoff team. After an inexplicable loss against the Cardinals that snapped their four game winning streak, the Cowboys gagged away another victory on Sunday night. This one against the New York Giants. Yet again the script was similar. It was all about missed opportunities for America’s Team. A double digit lead erased, Tony Romo missing a pass that would’ve sealed the game, and a field goal kicker that was left shaking his head. The Cowboys once again found a way to give up a game that cost them first place in their own division. The ‘Boys playoff hopes are still alive, but they are at a crossroads of their season and if they want to prove to the skeptics that this year they are mentally tougher and this year they are a different team then they better figure out how to regroup and how to protect fourth quarter leads because with every missed opportunity the ‘Boys margin for error shrinks and the pressure builds.
Jason Witten joined KTCK in Dallas with BaD Radio to talk about the loss against the Giants on Sunday night, whether or not they can learn from the loss against New York, on the missed opportunities, and what he thinks about the belief that defenses are at a disadvantage right now.
On the loss against the Giants Sunday night:
“It was a disappointing loss. Thought we were in control of the game for a majority of the game but obviously give them credit. They made a lot of plays down the stretch and unfortunately we didn’t make enough. It’s a disappointing loss no two ways about it. We knew what we were playing for and knew what kind of opportunity that was and we let one slip. I think you gotta move on quickly because Saturday is gonna be here fast with Tampa Bay and everything we want still in front of us. We’ve got to have that mindset to move forward as quickly as we can and learn from that more than anything so we can be a better football team.”
Whether or not the team can learn from the loss against New York:
“Absolutely. If you want to be the team or for that matter the player you want to be you gotta evaluate that tape and get better because of it. We were in a good situation there towards the end and we let that opportunity slip. It was in all areas. It was a complete game. Offensively we got it back and we knew we needed to put a few first downs together and we didn’t do it. They made a lot of big plays in the end to give themselves a chance and for us we’ve been on the other end of that as well but what’s happening behind us and in front of us, you gotta win all three, you can’t look at it that way either. You just kinda live in this moment, have a great Tuesday, and give yourself a chance to be good on Saturday. That’s our next challenge. That’s what it comes down to when you play big games in December. We let one slip and we need to bounce back.”
On the opportunity that was in front of them that they let slip:
“Absolutely and we knew that they were a good offense and had a good passing attack. I think Eli has shown that throughout the season and our defense in a lot of ways has put us in position to win games. Think about last week holding Arizona to 13 points an entire game. We would take that any day of the week. For us offensively it’s about us maximizing our opportunities. When you look at it, even though a lot of areas say that’s a check, you know 325 yards passing or whatever it is, four touchdowns, 100 yards rushing, all those things are checks but at the end you can’t leave opportunities out there on the field like that because their offense is so powerful too. That’s what good teams do. They take advantage of every opportunity they have in all phases. I think offensively that was kind of a learning opportunity for us. You can’t leave those opportunities out there. Still think we have a really good team. As tough of a loss as that was and we all know it, I still believe we have a really good football team and we’re a close group that has great chemistry that’s focused on what’s ahead of us. That’s easier said than to do because of the mindset of not letting that game carry over and having a hangover because of that. We’ve done a great job moving forward. That comes from the leadership of the coaches but it also comes with the leadership of the players and we have to respond quickly here come Saturday.”
Whether or not he agrees that offenses have the advantage nowadays:
“I still think defenses and pass rushers are as dynamic as they’ve ever been if not better. I mean you look every week there’s some dynamic pass-rushers. So the thought that defenses can’t hold up, that’s not true. Look at that defense last week and look at their front four. There’s about seven of them that can play and are really, really good. I don’t buy into it. I think offenses are, we’ve got some really good quarterbacks in the league right now, you’re seeing this empty package really coming into its own and whether they are really stretching the field or just throwing this five yard stop route and it’s turning into big plays. When you look at the dynamic offenses, that’s really what’s taking place. We do that pretty well but the Giants do it, obviously Green Bay, New Orleans, and New England are some of those teams when you start talking about dynamic offenses. I still think defenses are really good. I don’t think it’s the rules so to speak. Maybe a defensive player would disagree but I think it’s just these quarterbacks and the tempo and taking what they give them of keeping themselves in such positive down and distance.”