thanks to penalties, fumbles and the like; including getting nailed for nine penalties; including finding about three different spots in the fourth quarter alone that would have accounted for those final five seconds not ever being there; and including two damning fourth-quarter calls, one made and one remade, which will make the Cowboys absolutely sick when they see them on tape.
So I'm sure the defense is going to come under fire for allowing an opponent to either drive into scoring position in the final seconds or score the winnings points in the final seconds after shutting them down for 58 minutes for the fourth time this season.
But come on, even with that 81-yard touchdown drive to tie the game 10-10 with 46 seconds left, the Seahawks, the league's No. 1 offense, could gain only 289 yards - 208 in 58 minutes. They could convert only three of 13 third-down opportunities, running the Cowboys total to just eight-of-51 in the past three games. And they could run for just 72 yards after rolling for 320 just last week.
Yeah, go ahead. Scream. This is just maddening.
"It's tough man . . . it's tough . . . tough, tough, tough," Keyshawn Johnson stuttered.
"We played great for I don't know how many minutes," said linebacker Scott Shanle, "but not 60 minutes."
Now this is going to sound like a broken record, but when you let a team hang around, hang around, you just never know when you will get nailed for an 18-yard pass interference call with both the receiver and corner hand fighting down field, causing the assessed culprit, Aaron Glenn to say, "I never question the calls by refs, but today man, we knew we played in Seattle."
You just never know when the back judge will be talked out of an interference call in the end zone, this crew picking up the flag thrown on a falling Marquand Manuel for grabbing Jason Witten, saying the contact was inadvertent, causing Witten to say, "They said he slipped, and my explanation to them was he slipped because of the move, and it was like, 'Oh crap,' and he grabbed my leg. It was incidental because he fell to his knees on the route."
See it's great to play great defense, and the Cowboys did once again, giving up only 13 points - six on 50-yard field goals after turnovers - and giving up only their third touchdown in the past 17 quarters and giving up no more than 289 total yards in their third consecutive game to the league's top offenses and top scoring offense at the time.
But you gotta score more than 13 points to win games in this league, especially when you hog the ball for 34 minutes. You just gotta, and while the Cowboys were licking their wounds on this long flight home Sunday night, they know they are 4-3 instead of a conceivable 7-0 because three times this year they could not score more than 13 points - and actually could be 3-4 for being unable to do so if not for winning the coin flip and kicking that overtime field goal a week ago Sunday.
Yep, four times now the Cowboys have failed to score more than 13 points in regulation, and have scored no more than one touchdown in three of the past four games.
Thirteen ain't enough. Never will be.
"You gotta score touchdowns to win," said Johnson, who scored the Cowboys only touchdown on a beautifully-executed lob into the end zone he caught over his head while dragging his feet on the sideline. "Field goals ain't going to get it done, man. The last few weeks we just haven't figured out how to score.
"Just can't continue to keep doing this."
But they have, and maybe that's the point of all this. Because after seven games, the Cowboys aren't good enough - yet - to be any better than 4-3 and aren't bad enough to be any worse. We have proof - seven games of proof.
And at some point, you are what you are, no matter who you play, where you play or who you play without, Seahawks 13, Cowboys 10 undeniable and maddening proof.
Been there, done that.
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