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Don't Forget About These Five: Missed Chances Involve Bryant


ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys never led this game although there were plenty of moments in the first three quarters. The Bears made too many big plays and took advantage of a plethora of Cowboys' mistakes.

Some of the big plays stood out the most, but there were a handful that might have been lost in the flow of the game:

Deep miss to Bryant – With the game scoreless early in the first quarter, the Cowboys had a third-and-4 from the Bears' 38. It was close to four-down territory, but they went for a bomb on third-down with Tony Romo overthrowing a streaking Dez Bryant down the right seam. It likely would've been a touchdown or at least a huge gain inside the 10-yard line. Instead, it was another punt followed by a drive that ended with the Bears getting a field goal.

Murray's second fumble – On the stat sheet, DeMarco Murray won't be credited with a lost fumble. But his second fumble actually led to seven points for the Bears. On a second-and-5 from the Cowboys' 25, Murray had plenty of running room to the left side for what would've been a first down or more, but he dropped the pitch, and ended up losing four yards, setting up third-and-9. On the next play, Romo and Bryant had an obvious miscommunication and the Bears scored on an easy interception return for a 10-0 lead.

Dez drop over middle – The Cowboys trailed 24-7 after the Lance Briggs interception return but were in position to get more points and get back in the game. On third-and-6 from Chicago's 22, Romo fired a pass over the middle to Bryant, who simply dropped a sure first down. It led to only a field goal and kept Chicago ahead by two touchdowns late in the third.  

Claiborne's near fumble – While it appeared to be the right call on the field, it certainly would've been a huge play had the Cowboys got Morris Claiborne's fumble and return going their way in the third quarter. Trailing 24-10, the rookie cornerback stripped the ball from Alshon Jeffery and returned it four yards to the Bears' 32. But replay officials reversed the call after seeing Jeffery's elbow hit the ground just before the ball was wrestled away. Chicago kept possession and the momentum, driving down for a field goal.

Another Dez drop– See a theme here? The Cowboys trailed 27-10 but were still moving the ball. Romo had a deep ball to Bryant down the right sideline that could've been a big gain or a possible touchdown. Bryant is known for having great hands but let this one go right through his gloves for an incomplete pass. Romo threw his fourth pick just a few plays later.

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