Posted: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
By Dave Halprin
The news isn't pretty for the Cowboys, but maybe there are a few not so bad items.
Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee has no structural damage in his injured neck, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. Lee, who had an MRI exam Tuesday, is suffering soreness and stiffness, sources told Werder.
But the Cowboys expect that after undergoing treatment to alleviate the symptoms, Lee will be able to play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, according to sources. The Cowboys consider Lee as day to day and do not think that the injury is a serious issue, a team source told ESPNDallas.com.
At least that is some good news. We still haven't hears a status on Bruce Carter. Carter left the game with a ...yep, you guessed it, a hamstring injury. Oh yeah, Dwayne Harris? Left the game after re-aggravating his hamstring. The Cowboys scouting report for the 2014 draft should read "do not draft players who have hamstrings and will likely use them in a game".
As rabblerousr wrote earlier today, it was hard to find a true turning point in a game that was so lopsided in the end. He chose the minutes before halftime when Dallas couldn't keep the ball and drive it for points, while Chicago got it back and tacked seven more points on the board. True enough, that seemed to be where it all started to unravel. But the turning point in the game that really was disheartening was the one we never got a chance to possibly see. Dallas punted instead of going for it on a 4-and-4 at the Bears 41, down 27-14. On the drive before halftime, at least Dallas was playing aggressive and trying to put points on the board, at this point of the game they just rolled over and played dead. It was obvious to everybody that the Cowboys defense wasn't going to stop Chicago very often, so they had better start taking big chances. Instead Garrett played it safe. And effectively ended the game. Todd Archer makes the same point and has this Garrett quote:
Go for it: With 10:37 left in the third quarter and the Cowboys trailing 27-14, Jason Garrett passed on a chance to give his team a jolt. Facing fourth-and-4 from the Chicago 41, Garrett elected to punt even though his defense had done nothing to slow down the Bears. Chicago answered with a 14-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte to seal the win.
"We thought about going," Garrett said. "We were still right in the middle of the field and still a long way to go on that … You start getting into those discussions when you're putting it all together: how much time is on the clock, the score and what they're doing offensively. We thought the right move there was to play a little bit of field position and obviously it didn't work out very well for us."
Garrett should have been bold, instead he waved the white flag.
I don't know if it is injury or age, probably a combination of both, but DeMarcus Ware's game has been in rapid decline. As many have noted, it's not constant double-teaming that is slowing him down, instead he's getting handled by a single tackle, and some of those tackles aren't exactly Pro Bowl material. Ware needs to find his game quick and he knows it.
"Health wise, I'm fine, I feel good, I was running around out there, I didn’t get tired," Ware said after the 45-28 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night. "At the end of the day I haven’t been playing like the DeMarcus of the past and I got to get back to that. It's December (and) people always say the light turns on in December and you set yourself apart from everybody and I got to get back on track with that."
Ware ended a two-game sack-less streak with a meaningless fourth-quarter takedown of Josh McCown. Ware has six on the season and with three games remaining in the regular season, his string of getting double-figures in sacks is nearing an end.
The Cowboys played with a fullback for the first time all season, and DeMarco Murray gave Tyler Clutts a big pat on the back.
"I thought we ran it well," Murray said. "[Tyler] Clutts did a good job blocking. The O-line did a good job. Everyone was on the same page. We were just clicking."
Read Jerry's comments about the defense, Monte Kiffin and taking more chances. All I'll say is the Cowboys did take chances early in the game, and never could get to McCown. But they came as close as they would most of the game. They might as well have just unleashed the blitz and prayed for sacks and turnovers. Sitting back and rushing four surely didn't work.