1. Quick Snap
With the game tied 7-7 on the Cowboys' second offensive possession, Brad Johnson never got a chance to record the first down because Andre Gurode's shotgun snap from center came flying out before the quarterback was ready. Johnson is certainly not Tony Romo and chose to fall on the ball for 15-yard loss back on the Cowboys' eight. Instead of getting a first down or at least decent punting room, new punter Sam Paulescu was seven yards deep in the end zone and shanked a 36-yard punt to the Rams' 44. The great field position led to another Rams touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
2. Ellis Holding
While Brad Johnson's tipped interception didn't help matters for the Cowboys, they still had a chance to hold the Rams to a field goal with a third-and-goal on the Cowboys' two still in the second quarter. But Greg Ellis was flagged for holding in the end zone, giving St. Louis a first down at the one. Steven Jackson scored on the next play for a 21-7 lead.
3. Witten's Motion Penalty
With the Rams leading 21-7, the Cowboys were trying to get back in the game midway through the second quarter and mounting a drive. On third-and-10 from the Rams' 29, they appeared to get a 24-yard play to the Rams' five on a catch by Jason Witten. However, the official ruled Witten was moving forward while he was shifting in motion and flagged him for an illegal procedure. Witten came from the backfield, meaning he had to go forward but appeared to straighten up in time before the snap. Instead of first-and-goal from the Rams' five, the Cowboys got third-and-15 from the 34 and then Johnson was sacked, forcing another punt.
4. Wasted Two-Minute Drill
This wasn't just one play, but a series of plays just before halftime. The Cowboys got a gift from the Rams after a field goal when kicker Josh Brown kicked it out of bounds, giving the Cowboys possession at their 40 with 1:47 left. And even after a 16-yard pass to Witten, the Cowboys couldn't do anything from the Rams' 44, with Johnson throwing two straight incomplete passes and then a two-yard pass in the flat to Witten, forcing yet another punt as the Rams took a 24-7 halftime lead.
5. Bennett's Penalty
While the rookie from Texas A&M scored his first career touchdown late in the game, his motion penalty on a fourth-and-one stalled a drive that resulted in no points. The Cowboys had a first down from fullback Deon Anderson at the Rams' 24. But his penalty for a false start, pushed it back to fourth-and-six and the Cowboys settled for a Nick Folk 46-yard field goal attempt, which sailed wide right. Had the Cowboys kept it going and possibly scored a touchdown to cut the Rams' lead to 24-14, it could've changed things, especially the momentum. Instead the Rams took over and needed two plays for Steven Jackson to rumble 56 yards for a touchdown.
Of course, the Rams made several more big plays than the Cowboys, but even the little ones added up on this day.