ARLINGTON, Texas – For only the second time since 2004, the Cowboys will finish a season with double-digit losses. Saturday's 19-16 loss to the Jets dropped Dallas to 4-10 and out of the NFC East playoff race.
On Friday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for the game. Check out the instant reactions from the DallasCowboys.com staff.
Nick Eatman: I think I had this game somewhat pegged, although once again, I had the wrong team winning. But it was definitely the type of game the Cowboys had to play to win. I had them winning close, 19-17, but instead, the Jets take it 19-16 themselves. I did say the Cowboys would have the best defense on the field and that was probably debatable. Sure, New York won the turnover battle 4-1 but I'm confident (I think) that even this Cowboys secondary would've picked off the passes the Jets did Saturday night. But I thought this would be an interesting game and it certainly was, even including Dan Bailey's bank-shot field goal to tie the game. But once again, it wasn't meant to be. This defense just can't get over the hump and make the plays. So ultimately, I had this rollercoaster ride continuing after this game, but it's officially off the tracks.
David Helman: I got the result right, but I was very wrong about the level of competition the Cowboys would put up. Yes, the defense suffered a late breakdown, but kudos to them for frustrating the Jets all night. Yes, Kellen Moore threw three interceptions and the offense was still inefficient – but the Cowboys ran for 133 yards against the best rush defense in the league, and they put together a more potent offense than several of their more recent attempts. All of that said, it was a story we should be familiar with by now. The offense was inefficient, and the defense was incapable of making the big play. They did come up with an interception, but the Cowboys had a chance at three or four takeaways. You can't knock their hustle, but hustle isn't quite good enough – as has been the case all season.
Bryan Broaddus: I thought it would be difficult for the Cowboys offensively to move the ball on this Jets defense. I was concerned about the Cowboys' ability to run the ball and in turn I thought it was going to put a great deal of pressure for Matt Cassel to have to make plays throwing the ball. What was surprising is that Darren McFadden was able to successfully run the ball throughout the game but the offense wasn't able to take advantage of that which was unfortunate. I had seen this Jets defense play better on tape leading up to this game but tonight wasn't one of those times. The Cowboys had their opportunities, but much like this season it was all for not.
Rob Phillips: I predicted two takeaways to bring the defense's season total to double digits and help the offense win a close game. The defense came close on several and got one: an interception by cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who signed from the practice squad a day earlier. Whether it was Matt Cassel or Kellen Moore at quarterback, though, the Cowboys' offense continued its struggles finishing drives. Four trips inside the Jets' 20-yard line yielded only one touchdown and 13 total points. Cassel and Moore combined for four interceptions, and though Moore gave the offense a bit of a spark, you just can't win turning over the ball that much. Similar story to most of the Cowboys' losses this season: some good, but not enough to overcome mistakes at key moments, including some big pass plays by the Jets in the final quarter.
For the initial gut feeling predictions by the staff writers posted Friday, click here: