IRVING, Texas – Had Dan Bailey's 51-yard field goal attempt sailed through the uprights, the Cowboys would've done something that has to be an unlikely occurrence in NFL history.
They would've be 3-0 on the season when they commit exactly 13 penalties in a game.
After finding a way to survive the Giants and Bucs with 13 penalties, the Cowboys came up short in Baltimore. And this time, one of the major reasons for the loss was the amount of untimely penalties that plagued the team all afternoon.
Head coach Jason Garrett has apparently had enough with the flags, stating this week it might be time to take further action such as starters being benched or worse.
"You have the option of saying, 'OK, if you continue to get penalized like this, you're going to be out of the lineup or you're going to be off the football team,'" Garrett said. "I don't know if we have a line in the sand . . . but trust me – we're going to get it right."
The problem for Garrett is the Cowboys aren't very deep at offensive tackle. And that's the spot that is the most glaring when it comes to penalties.
Left tackle Tyron Smith is tied for the NFL lead with eight penalties, including a league-high five false start miscues. He's tied with right tackle Doug Free, who has also been flagged eight times with five false starts.
The only other tackle on the team is Jermey Parnell, who not only had penalty issues during the preseason, but was flagged once Sunday when he entered the game as a tackle-eligible blocker.
Another culprit on Sunday was third receiver Kevin Ogletree, who was involved in two illegal shift penalties that cost the Cowboys much-needed points.
Since the season opener against the Giants when he caught his only two touchdowns of his career, Ogletree's production has tapered off. Since that eight-catch performance in the Meadowlands, Ogletree has just nine catches in the last four games, including zero last week in Baltimore.
The Cowboys don't really have a ton of options behind him, although rookie Cole Beasley has flashed some potential as a slot receiver, as has Dwayne Harris.
Garrett has pointed out before that certainly officiating crews tend to call more penalties than others. While the Cowboys had 13 flags on Sunday, the Ravens were called 10 times.
The game before against Chicago, the Cowboys were penalized just twice for 10 yards, while the Bears had four for 25.