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Going Under The Bus

combined 1-13. Three teams (Seattle, Pittsburgh, Arizona) have suffered as many interceptions. 

Bledsoe must be more careful with the football, but the offensive line also has some culpability in this problem. The first of three interceptions on Sunday in Philadelphia was the result of Darren Howard beating offensive tackle Flozell Adams, hitting Bledsoe's arm as he was delivering the ball and allowing Brian Dawkins to pick off the woefully short pass for Owens. 

The second was on Bledsoe, throwing far short of a wide open Owens who would have scored a walk-in 33-yard touchdown to tie the game at 31. And the third, and game-damning interception in the final minute, was a ball Bledsoe should have never thrown, forcing one into coverage for Jason Witten, whose hook route was interrupted when Philly linebacker Jeremiah Trotter fell right in front of him, cutting off his route. 

"It was just covered," Parcells said 

That was the second three-interception game of the season for Bledsoe, the first by no coincidence occurring in the season-opening 24-17 loss to Jacksonville when it appeared he was suffering from some back problems. 

Now Parcells is not placing all the blame on Bledsoe, knowing his offensive line must do a better job of protecting the quarterback. And if the line doesn't do a better job than Sunday, when Bledsoe was sacked seven times and hit probably a dozen more - twice causing him to fumble - he's not going to last another month this season. 

"He was under pretty good duress last night," said Parcells, though knowing Bledsoe was responsible for two of those sacks because of holding the ball far too long. 

And upon watching the tape, the duress seemed to creep in from the left side of the offensive line, where Adams sure didn't have one of his better games, and a couple of times guard Kyle Kosier failed to seal off pass rushers coming inside. The No. 1 rule in pass protection is to seal off the inside and take your chances with pass rushers coming from the outside. They have a further distance to travel than those coming up the gut. 

So those of you wanting to solely throw Bledsoe under that expansive bus, stifle, and it's not happening. Not yet, anyway. Because when asked if he is contemplating a change at quarterback, Parcells said, "Not at this moment, no," and when pressed further for why, he replied, "because I don't think it's the answer, right at this minute." 

The mobile quarterback seems to be all the rage, meaning once again as after Week 1, most are clamoring for Tony Romo to take over - immediately. Funny thing, though, at the end of the first half Sunday with the Cowboys leading 21-17 after spotting the Eagles 10 points, it was the mobile quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who had been sacked three times to Bledsoe's two, and it was the mobile quarterback who lost the ball on a blindside hit that Ware grabbed out of mid-air on his way to that 69-yard touchdown. 

Protection is key. 

Need more proof? In the Cowboys' two losses, Bledsoe has been sacked nine times. In the Cowboys' two wins, Bledsoe has been sacked once. In the Cowboys' two losses, Bledsoe has been intercepted six times. In the Cowboy's two wins, Bledsoe has been intercepted once. 

Evidently, so is ball protection, because of the Cowboys' 10 turnovers, eight have taken place in the two losses, leaving just one each in the two wins. 

So here we go, possibly the most important stretch of the season upon the Cowboys. Two homes games up next. First, the 1-3 Houston Texans. Then the currently 2-2 New York Giants. And remember, these are two of only three homes games littering the first nine games on the Cowboys' schedule. 

Then the grueling three-game road trip through Carolina, Washington and Arizona. If the Cowboys are to position themselves to take advantage of playing five of their final seven games at home to end the season, the Cowboys must get through these next five games with a winning record. 

"I think we got the next six or seven weeks in here we've got some real tough test for ourselves," Parcells said, "and we'll know a lot more when that's over." 

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