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Don't Forget About These Five: Plenty Of Missed Opportunities


ATLANTA  – In a game that features just two touchdowns, six field goals and three missed field goals,  obviously there are plenty of plays along the way that affect the outcome.

The Cowboys once again had their chances to knock off the undefeated Falcons, but just couldn't make enough plays in the fourth quarter.

Like always, there are some hidden plays that won't make the highlight reel, but played a major role in the Cowboys' 19-13 loss to the Falcons.            

(Plays listed in chronological order)


1. Another Third-Down Fail – The Cowboys had already marched inside the Falcons' 5 and settled for a field goal. This time, it was 3-0 and after a 65-yard bomb to Kevin Ogletree, Tony Romo had the offense at the 14 for third-and-6. But Tony Romo couldn't connect to his target Dez Bryant on the left side, forcing the offense to settle for another field goal. While the offense was clicking early, having to settle for yet another field goal gave the momentum back to Atlanta.

2. Ogletree Drop– While Kevin Ogletree had a nice game with three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, it was a key third-down drop in the second quarter that proved to be a drive-killer. Romo fired a pass to the third receiver on third-and-7 from the Falcons' 36 but Ogletree simply dropped the ball, negating a sure first down at about the 27. The Cowboys settled for a field-goal attempt but Dan Bailey sailed the kick wide left, keeping the Cowboys ahead 6-3.

3. White over the middle– With the Falcons facing third-and-5 from their 17 with just 29 seconds left, it was debatable whether or not they wanted to keep trying to score and go into the half. But Matt Ryan took one more chance and found Roddy White over the middle for a 20-yard gain. It set up more first-down catches that led to a game-tying field goal just before halftime. Had the Cowboys held there, they might have gotten the ball back with time for their own field goal.

4. Austin's Drop – With the game tied 6-6 in the third quarter, the Cowboys had a third-and-13 from their own 41. Romo bought himself some time and fired a strike to Miles Austin, who simply let the ball go through his gloves for a drop. Austin had plenty of room to get up the field for a first down into Falcons territory. Instead, it forced a punt and the Falcons would eventually drive the field for a touchdown.

5. Turner Gets 10 – That final drive for the Falcons had several memorable plays, two of which involving Orlando Scandrick missing a tackle and then getting a penalty. But after an offensive interference call that pushed the Falcons back to first-and-20 at their own 10, they weren't really trying to be aggressive. Yet a first down run by Michael Turner netted 10 yards and got the Falcons in a manageable down and distance to convert, which they did. If the Cowboys can stuff Turner there and keep the Falcons backed up and somewhat conservative, they would've had a chance to get the ball back with a chance to either tie or win the game.

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