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Mailbag: How Does This Collapse Rank Among Others?

Posted Dec 15, 2013

KEVIN HUNT
PAMPA, TX

Is the Green Bay loss one of the top five worst regular season losses in Cowboy history?
 

Nick: Not to me, honestly. I know it hurts because they led 26-3, but the fact that it really doesn’t mean that much in the standings doesn’t allow me to put it there – yet. I know it could be bigger depending on what happens next week. But if they beat Washington and the Eagles beat the Bears at home, then it still comes down to beating the Eagles at the end. And it wouldn’t have really mattered what happened here. So for that reason, I won’t say that. And as for some bad ones, obviously you’ve got Detroit in 2011 and about four of them in the 2008 season. And that’s just recent history. Yeah, it was bad. But I wouldn’t put it there yet. Now if the Eagles lose to the Bears, it might change things.  
 
Rowan: Yes. I don’t even have to look them up. A 23-point lead at halftime against a quarterback who’d thrown for three touchdown passes all year should be comfortable enough for a victory. The collapse featured all the aspects that have burdened the Cowboys either in the past or this season, adding to a growing list of close games this season that end in poor fashion.  
 
David: There have been some brutal losses just in this season, let alone recent seasons, and this one just might be the worst of 2013. At least the Denver loss was to all-time great Peyton Manning, and at least in Detroit it was all-time great Calvin Johnson who buried the Cowboys. They just surrendered a 23-point lead to Matt Flynn and a rookie running back – at home, no less. I don’t know where it ranks historically, but I think it’s the worst loss in a season that’s had plenty of bad losses.
 
 
BRYCE KEEN
WESTMINSTER, CO

I saw a lot of poor decisions that I attribute to the loss to Green Bay. While Romo's INTs were heartbreakers, why didn't the Cowboys run the ball more when it seemed to be effective -- especially late in the fourth quarter?
 
Nick: Because they get too cute. They were playing too aggressive. We always talk about teams playing to win. Well sometimes YOU SHOULD play not to lose. It’s ok. The result is the same. And the Cowboys should’ve either called more runs and forced the quarterback not to change out of them. That cost them the game without a doubt. There’s no way a back should have 11 runs in the first half and his team lead 26-3, and then get only seven in the second half, especially when the defense had no answer for him.
 
Rowan: There are no excuses for that. Jason Garrett said Romo checked out of the first interception, but he shouldn’t have had that option. DeMarco Murray burned the Packers all day, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. He had 11 carries in the first half, and with a 23-point lead going into halftime, he finished with just seven carries the rest of the way. It’s not always the right choice to run, but it was on Sunday. There’s no good answer for the discrepancy with a lead
 
David: I don’t want to repeat Nick and Rowan, but I just want to add: only three of Murray’s second half carries came in the fourth quarter. You know what’s even worse? It’s not like the Packers found a way to slow him down – he averaged 5.8 yards per carry in his seven second half attempts. It’s baffling and it will continue to be baffling.
 
 
RANDY GUNNLAUGSSON
ANTHEM, AZ

With the coaching decisions made in the Detroit game, I thought that would be the end of this era. After today’s game against a horrible Green Bay team, will the head coach leave with his job?
 
Nick: Ask me in two weeks. Seriously, it’s just not to the time for all of that. As bad as this one hurts, the Cowboys can still win the next two games and make the playoffs. I don’t know if that saves his job, but I just think he’ll be viewed differently. As I’ve said all along, if he doesn’t make the playoffs, I don’t see him coming back. So until that’s off the table, I still would like to wait.
 
Rowan: I think he’ll leave the game with it. Jerry Jones seemed to make that pretty clear. But if the Cowboys don’t turn it around their last two games, that answer will probably change after the season
 
David: A month ago, I wasn’t sure the Cowboys needed to reach the playoffs for Garrett to keep his job. But with the way December has started – a blowout loss and a head-scratcher of a collapse – it seems more likely there will be a change if this team doesn’t reach the postseason.

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