Sullivan: Stop Trying Not To Lose, Getting Dez Involved Among Thoughts

Some of the thoughts that run through an oversized, bald head:

• Anyone blaming Terrance Williams for that loss doesn't understand what they watched for three hours. This goes back years and years, to the game at New England in Week 6 of 2011. Maybe there's something I'm missing. Take some chances. Play to win. Stop trying not to lose. Don't settle. So Dak Prescott throws a downfield interception in the fourth quarter of his pro debut, pretty sure we can all live with that.

• Twice on third-and-a-bunch, the Cowboys ran designed dump-offs to Jason Witten. Those play-calls are just throwing in the towel. On that last drive, throw one down field, maybe throw to the other side of the field where the sun isn't an issue. Find ways to put the ball in Dez Bryant's hands.

• Also, there's this: Go with the flow of the game. Change up the game plan. Ezekiel Elliott wasn't having success outside of huge gaps that almost any NFL back would have taken advantage of. Alfred Morris was, averaging twice as many yards per carry as Zeke. So leave him in there.

• That was a bad loss. That was a frustrating loss. I don't want to hear that it was a solid debut for Prescott. They have to let him at least try to make plays, like during the preseason. The play-calls looked a lot like last season with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel.

• Of Prescott's 43 targets, 26 were to Witten and Cole Beasley.

• If someone said the Giants were scoring 20 points before kickoff, we all would have smiled contently and said, yeah, sounds good, the Cowboys are 1-0. Can't put this one on the defense. They didn't surprise per se, but two sacks and a takeaway was more than anyone was expecting. Terrell McClain was clearly the standout, five tackles and a tackle for loss.

• They should have involved Dez more, we all agree on that. However, he needs to make plays also. He should have caught that touchdown pass. He should have found a way to catch that other touchdown in the fourth also. Yeah, the ball was underthrown, but we're talking about a top-three talent at his position. The A.J. Greens and Julio Jones find a way to make plays.

• The best offensive line in the game was anything but. Numerous penalties, two holding calls on La'el Collins, few running lanes for Elliott, and Doug Free was beaten at least seven or eight times by Jason Pierre-Paul. Prescott escaped two or three sacks that few in the league would have.

• I'm done with time of possession. Have read several new-age articles the last few months on why it's meaningless, and while I was holding out hope, here's the first half numbers: Both teams had 185 yards, the Giants led 13-9 and the Cowboys held the football for more than 22 minutes. The Cowboys were successful in 2014 for many reasons, none of which were time of possession. If the opposing offense is better than your defense, guess what, they are going to score.

• In what has to be a team record, the Cowboys have started five quarterbacks in their last 13 games. The Giants last started a quarterback not named Eli Manning on Nov. 14, 2004. For comparison, that same week, the Cowboys started Vinny Testaverde, who turns 53 in November.

• The best player on the field for either team was Olivier Vernon, who the Giants sent the Brink's truck for in the offseason. Never mind his stats, the guy drew several penalties and was disruptive throughout. Big-money free-agent signings are rarely successful in the NFL, but Vernon looks like the real deal.

• The sun really shouldn't be that much of an issue. I mean, there has to be a way to fix that. Maybe some really long curtains like they do for concerts. It's the greatest stadium ever built, no one is saying otherwise, but it shouldn't be a hindrance to the home fellas.

• Some weeks in the NFL, any level really, it's a grind. Neither team is setting the world on fire; there isn't a bevy of turnovers or fluke plays. At day's end, though, there is a winner and a loser. This was one of those games, just a grind. And at day's end, these are the games the Cowboys lose more than they win over the last five or six years.

• Including the postseason, Dallas has now lost 14 of its last 18 games.

• Zeke was supposed to be a turbo version of DeMarco Murray in 2014. There's a lot of football left, but here's the reality of what took place against the Giants: Either Zeke, the offensive line or the play-calling had a bad day. Hey, we all have bad days, we do. Just saying that these guys only have 16 game days, so need to see some dramatic improvement there.

Check out Jeff Sullivan's column each week in *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Find out more at DallasCowboys.com/star. You can also follow Jeff on Twitter, @SullyBaldHead, or email him at jsullivan@dallascowboys.net.*

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