IRVING, Texas – Faced with the pertinent stats – 45 points, no punts by Chicago on Monday night – members of the Cowboys' offense were given plenty of chances to throw their defense under the bus Thursday.
They opted not to, instead choosing to focus on how they can do their part this weekend against Green Bay.
"We feel that we let them down a little bit – we need to score more and take advantage of every opportunity we get," said offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. "We just want to be able to score, keep it, possess it, chew the clock up – whatever we need to do. That's our function on offense."
From the outside, it's easy to forgive the offense for mustering just 104 passing yards and 23 minutes of possession when compared to the headshaking displayed offered up by the Dallas defense in Chicago. That said, neither Callahan nor Tony Romo wanted to make excuses for their own shortcomings in the loss.
"I just think you have to go out and execute. If the game needs you to score more points, then you have to do that," Romo said. "Some games we're having to do that, so we've got to be able to do it."
Romo was quick to point out times where the defense has come to the offense's aid – games against New York and Washington come to mind. In that line of thinking, both he and Callahan acknowledged the offense may have swung the momentum with an extra play or two.
"There were areas in that game where, if we had converted two more possessions, it might have been a different game. Who knows," Callahan said. "We put the pressure on ourselves, and we're hard on ourselves as an offense, as a staff, as a group."
It's the second game this season where the Cowboys have gameplanned to run the ball, run it well and lost in lopsided fashion. A month ago in New Orleans, they averaged 5.6 yards per carry in a 32-point loss. Earlier this week they averaged 7.1 yards per carry in a 17-point loss.
Hindsight is 20-20, but Romo said the gameplan looked like the right call going into frigid, windy conditions at Soldier Field. [embedded_ad]
"It's one of those things where it's easy, afterward, to say we should have done this or done that. Once I again I kind of go back to – if you told me they were going to score 40-some points in those conditions and everything like that, then obviously you think you'd have to do things, as an offense -- we probably could have done things to help that aspect," Romo said.
It remains to be seen what that means for Sunday. The Packers are 21st in the league against the pass and 25th against the run, and the game is in the controlled climate of AT&T Stadium. Romo would never even hint at the upcoming gameplan, but he said he has no problem winging the ball around if that's what is called for.
However they go about moving the ball, Callahan said there won't be any added pressure to account for how the defense is stopping it.
"That doesn't change the way we think, the way we approach each series," he said. "We go about our own business and don't worry about things we can't control. What we can control is getting better."