ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – We're almost there.
That's really the only way to address this situation the Cowboys have found themselves in with 15 games now in the books and one more left to go.
As for the 2015 calendar, we've officially closed the year out with another game that resembles many of the others.
You can change quarterbacks all you want, but it's obviously not the issue. Four quarterbacks now, and every one of them not named Tony Romo has produced a game in which the Cowboys haven't scored a touchdown.
Add Kellen Moore to the list. Hey, he played well at times, and made some throws I wasn't sure he could make. I liked his presence in the pocket and I liked the way he moves himself out of the pocket. When it comes to those crossing routes, he's pretty accurate. Of course, the one he threw behind Brice Butler on a third-quarter slant ended up costing him and perhaps the team as well.
All in all, he was a little better than my expectations, which like him, weren't that high.
What wasn't good was the final result. This team can get into the red zone, but just can't finish the job.
It's one of Jason Garrett's favorite words: Finish. This team just can't do it. And it's not always about a game, but how about finishing a drive? Moore makes plays, the receivers help him out with some yards, but when they start sniffing the goal line, everything changes.
The problem I had this week when we saw three offensive linemen selected to the Pro Bowl, was just how much the offense struggles to run the ball in short-yardage situations. They entered the game as one of the worst teams on third-and-1, and even when it's first-and-goal from the 10, this line can't simply push the pile enough to get in.
I'm not saying these guys aren't worthy of making the Pro Bowl. Honestly, I'm happy for each of them, but if 60 percent of your starting unit is headed to Hawaii, why are they so inefficient when they need a yard? Why do they lead the NFL in false starts?
More importantly, why aren't they good enough to lead an offense to a touchdown. Just one touchdown would be nice. This is the fourth time this year the Cowboys have finished a game without one.
Because of that, they once again asked the Dallas defense to do something it simply can't do – be great.
No, this defense can be good, especially for the first 55 minutes of play. They can rally to the ball, apply pressure, get sacks, and this week, even get some turnovers.
But with the game on the line and the Bills huddling out of their own end zone midway through the fourth quarter, this defense doesn't finish the job. They can't corral Tyrod Taylor in the pocket and he gets a crucial first down. Then they don't seal the edge in the running game, knowing that's all Buffalo is going to do, and they allow the longest run from scrimmage against them this year.
To me, if that doesn't summarize this season, nothing else does. The Cowboys have stuffed the run most of the day – really the entire season – but when they need to make one more crucial stop and get off the field, they suffer the biggest breakdown of the previous 14 games.
Again, it's not on the defense. It hasn't been on the defense all season long. It's the fourth time this year the Cowboys have allowed less than 20 points and lost. There have been other games such as at New York and against Carolina when they allowed points from the offense and special teams.[embeddedad0]
This defense has played well enough to stay close, they just don't get timely turnovers and certainly don't make the crucial stops in the clutch. Even in their lone win this month – at Washington – the defense actually gave up a late touchdown that nearly put the game into overtime, had they not gotten a kick return and long field goal for the win.
So it's a little bit of defense, a lot of the offense, and lot of everything else.
This season began with so much potential. It's going to end with so much disappointment. And the end just can't get here quick enough.