The Cowboys have lost four games by a total of 23 points with every game decided by a TD or less.
involving Choice. Weird that a true role player is involved in two season-changing plays. But if you remember midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys trailed by three and had Choice open in the right flat for a possible touchdown. But Tony Romo's pass was behind the running back just a tad and it didn't look like he was ready for it that early in the route.
It should've been either a touchdown or down inside the 5-yard line. The Cowboys score there and you put pressure on Jay Cutler to play from behind. Instead, the incomplete pass led to a field goal attempt that was missed.
Moving on to Houston. Let's be fair to the theory. Even in wins, games can come down to a key play or two. Although the Cowboys won by 14, it could've been different. Remember, early in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys led 17-3, they stopped Houston tight end Owen Daniels at the 1-yard line when it was initially called a touchdown. But after a review, the ball was placed at the 1 and the Cowboys made a furious goal-line stand that forced a field goal.
Not saying Houston would've won the game, but like all of these situations, flow and momentum can have a big effect.
Against the Titans, let's go to the Marc Colombo penalty, which led to the ensuing kickoff from the 15. Tennessee returns it 73 yards to the Cowboys' 6-yard line and gets a game-winning touchdown in the final five minutes.
Let's be honest. A ref with more common sense doesn't call Colombo for excessive celebration. He knows that linemen are clumsy and looks the other way. The Cowboys kick off and you'd like to think they hold them to a decent return, although from the looks of things, you never know. But with about four minutes left, the Cowboys' defense would've been primed to stop Vince Young and get the ball back. That might have changed things, had it not been for a questionable penalty.
And last week in Minnesota, you can say the Percy Harvin kickoff return was huge because it tied the game to start the second half, and the Vikings weren't driving the ball at all. But I think I'll take Alan Ball's holding penalty midway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys didn't really need that play for Dez Bryant to rumble to the Vikings' 42. Instead, Dallas got it back on its own 14. With the game tied at 21 in the fourth quarter, any play that gives you a 44-yard swing is huge, especially when an interception is thrown shortly thereafter.
Five plays. You can argue whether or not they really made a big difference in the games, or ultimately the season.
Again, these aren't excuses. I'm not making excuses for them. Personally, I thought this team would be a little better than having to come down to a play or two. But that's not the case.
I know there are people who disagree, but honestly, it's just my theory. I really think that most games in this league are won and lost with the bounce of the ball.
However, in the same breath, I do think things usually have a way of evening out. So, if this Cowboys team is really better than this 1-4 record, then at some point, the ball and the breaks will start bouncing their way.
If not, then it's got to be something else and my theory doesn't apply. Because nothing happens 10 or 11 times in a season by chance. No 5-11 team ever caught a bad break or two.
So right now, at 1-4, I'm sticking to it. But just barely. Come Tuesday morning, it might be out the window.