ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Despite yet another one-possession game late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys fell to 4-11 on the season with a 16-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, sealed by Mike Gillislee's 50-yard touchdown run with 2:25 remaining.
On Saturday, the DallasCowboys.com staff writers gave their gut feeling for the game. Check out their instant reactions:
Bryan Broaddus: I thought that Kellen Moore would have played well but it wouldn't have been enough. Moore struggled, and whether it was his teammates or the weather, he was not nearly sharp enough. The interception he threw on the slant to Brice Butler was on him. The ball was behind and gave Butler no shot. Moore also missed Butler on third down later in the game on another slant that would have kept a drive going. I am not putting this loss at the feet of Moore but it's been the same theme for this offense all season - whether it was from the quarterback position, skill positions or offensive line, the unit just doesn't make enough plays to win games.
Rob Phillips: The Cowboys were 7-of-14 on third down with Kellen Moore at quarterback. That's four more conversions than the last three games combined, which shows you Moore gave them opportunities to sustain drives and score points in his first career start. Ultimately, though, the offense once again had trouble finishing drives due to missed opportunities, penalties and turnovers. I thought the Cowboys could win a close game in the rain based on how opposing offenses had scored under 20 points in seven of the previous nine games. Buffalo only scored 16, but the 50-yard touchdown run obviously put the game away late. When you aren't scoring touchdowns yourself, your defense is on the field more and more vulnerable to eventually giving up a big play.
Nick Eatman: Well, this one played out somewhat like I predicted, which is unfortunate for Cowboys fans – at least the ones that were hoping for a win. Moore played OK, but not good enough to get into the end zone, and of course, to win the game. I wanted to see him run the two-minute offense at the end because I think he would've made plays. Yet, he never got the chance because the defense couldn't step up one more time. It's just the theme of the season for this defense: great effort and execution for most of the day, but when it's time to get off the field, it doesn't happen. This defense did get a pair of turnovers as I predicted, but they didn't take advantage of them. I wondered how the team would play effort-wise knowing they're out of the playoffs, and it was really no different. They'll fight. They'll battle. But they don't get the win yet again. Familiar?
David Helman: I think this is about as wrong as I've been about a Cowboys game this season. I did nail the rushing total, as I predicted they'd rush for 120 total yards and they finished with 121. Other than that, though, I was way off. I thought Kellen Moore would be enough to help the Cowboys to 31 points. Like so many other games this season, they failed to find the end zone. Moore looked like an improvement on Matt Cassel – but sadly that just isn't saying much. The offense was ineffective enough that the Cowboys lost despite forcing two turnovers on the day – one of which came in the red zone. The defense's effort was about what we've come to expect, which is to say it was solid right up until the very end. At the end of the day, it was a loss that was interchangeable with five or six other losses this season – and I didn't think that'd be the case with Kellen Moore at the helm.
For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted Saturday, click here: