IRVING, Texas** – It's bound to get lost in the uproar of a last-minute loss and a 329-yard receiving effort by the opposition, but the Cowboys' offense wasn't exactly pretty last weekend.
It's been a shaky go of it for the Cowboys in the past three or so weeks – and that includes wins as well as the loss to the Lions. Dallas mustered just 268 total yards in Detroit this past Sunday, and, thanks largely to some special teams yardage, the Cowboys totaled a mere 213 against the Redskins.
Tony Romo said Thursday it goes with the grind of a 16-game season.
"If you look at the season, you're going to have games throughout the season that are more difficult. We've had two road games – that's part of it," he said. "They've created some good pressure upfront, I've thrown away more balls in the last two games than I had maybe in the previous four or five."
If the shots Romo has taken in the past couple of weeks aren't evidence enough, his numbers are. In back-to-back road games at Philadelphia and Detroit, Romo has completed just 42-of-77 passes – a 54 percent completion rate. Largely thanks to those struggles, the Cowboys are just 8-of-29 on third down in the past two games. [embedded_ad]
"Each week kind of presents new challenges, so the last two have just done a good job rushing the quarterback, really," Romo said. "Stuff is coming open, we just haven't been able to get there like we've been able to a few times earlier in the year. We're going to correct that and get better."
The problems provided by Detroit's defensive line in particular were easy to spot. Romo actually wasn't sacked once last week at Ford Field, but the Lions harassed him continually throughout the afternoon. They also limited the Cowboys to just 2.8 yards per rush without starting running back DeMarco Murray.
But similarly to the 17-3 win against the Eagles, the Cowboys began to figure things out in time. Romo went to halftime with just 66 yards against Detroit, but he managed to finagle another 140 in the second half to go with two second half touchdown passes. He said he's learned during the course of his career that the game changes during the course of 60 minutes.
"Some weeks are going to be harder than others. I know it doesn't always look as pretty, but at the end, did you put up enough points? Did you get your team in the end zone enough times to win the football game," Romo said. "Sometimes you do a lot in the first half and you get a big lead, and that's great. Other times it comes later in the game."
Now, for already the fourth time this season, the Cowboys have to regroup and work back toward finding the winning way. Until then, you can expect the frustration to continue.
That line of thinking produced a popular question in the fallout of the Lions loss – the prospect of frustration bubbling over to the locker room, specifically with reference to Dez Bryant's sideline outbursts from Sunday.
Romo said it's not an issue if the Cowboys don't view Bryant as a distraction, which he said they don't. For the second time this week, he stuck up for his much-discussed wide receiver.
"That's just not who Dez is, and I said that after the game. It was obvious what was going to happen – people were going to take it and run with it, and it was going to be on SportsCenter and all that stuff, even though it's wrong," Romo said. "He's a positive teammate -- he's always been that way. He's not a 'Me, Me, Me' guy, I'll say it again. It's just proven correct by what he was saying."