Jerry Jones’ ultimate dream has so far looked like it could turn out to be a horrible nightmare.
The Dallas Cowboys entered this 2010 season with designs on becoming the first team in NFL history to play on their home field in the Super Bowl, but the reigning NFC East champions are instead off to a startling 0-2 start following Sunday’s 27-20 home defeat to the surprising Chicago Bears. It’s the first time the glorious franchise has dropped its first two contests to begin a campaign since the darkest days of Jones’ two-decade reign as club owner, when a Dallas squad led by the comical quarterback combo of Quincy Carter and Anthony Wright began 0-4 en route to a five-win total in 2001 as part of the forgettable Dave Campo era. [pullquote quote="What it came down to is (Chicago) made the plays and we didn't" credit="Coach Wade Phillips "]
A litany of mistakes and poor execution sealed the Cowboys’ fate in a frustrating season-opening setback at division-rival Washington, and there were errors and missed chances aplenty in Sunday’s outing as well. A talent- laden offense was both inefficient and one-dimensional for a second straight week, while a defense that’s yet to force a turnover through the first two games was burned for several big pass plays by on-point Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Bears, on the other hand, intercepted Cowboys triggerman Tony Romo twice during the first half in building a 20-14 lead at intermission. Wide receiver Roy Williams also lost a costly fumble in Chicago territory to with just over four minutes to go, while young kicker David Buehler misfired on what would have been a game-tying 44-yard field goal try early in the fourth quarter.
“What it came down to is (Chicago) made the plays and we didn’t,” Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips remarked. “We had some opportunites, but we didn’t make plays. When one team gets three turnovers and the other one didn’t get any, that makes a difference.” [photogallerylink id=28073 align=right]
The reeling Cowboys now find themselves already at a critical juncture of the season, with road dates against the upstart Houston Texans and defending NFC North champ Minnesota — a team that dealt Dallas a painful 34-3 loss in last year’s conference playoffs — surrounding a bye and a home tilt with Tennessee over the next four weeks.
“I think it is a crossroads right now,” said Phillips. “It’s time to step up.”
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