Back to back losses due to late breakdowns against Arizona and New York, back to back games when late penalties on special teams and defense proved costly.
Saturday's game against Tampa Bay wasn't really in the balance during its late stages, but the Cowboys managed to avoid excessive flags even when it was close. The two penalties and 15 yards marked off against the team on Saturday were the fewest in a game this season.
Against New York in Week 14 the Cowboys had 10 penalties, the third time this year they had reached double-digit fouls.
"It's always a point of emphasis," Jason Garrett said. "We talk about who the officiating crew is every week, and what they have a tendency to call. We have officials at practice. We talk about playing with the right technique, penalty-beaters, things we can do technically to avoid penalties without taking our edge off, and the way we play off of us.
"But you have to play smarter, and I thought our team did that well in the game last night. I don't think we had any of those penalties where guys were trying too hard to make the play."