CBS SPORTS – The Cowboys started the season with injuries. They piled up in training camp and carried into the season. They occurred all year and it never let up. Overall the Cowboys lost more than 100 games from projected starters.
And in the end, it just added up to the point where the Cowboys could barely function. They certainly tried and made a playoff push but lost their final two games, including a winner-take-all battle with the Redskins to finish 8-8 for the second-straight year. It’s the third-consecutive season the Cowboys have missed the playoffs.
The Cowboys ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense, and third in passing, but they only ranked 15th in points per game. And that’s the stat that defines most games. Tony Romo put up all kinds of numbers, including a career-high 4,903 yards. They nearly missed becoming the third team in NFL history to have three 1,000-yard receivers, but Miles Austin suffered an injury in the final game and finished with 943. Still, with a porous offensive line and lack of a running game — six straight years without a 1,000-yard rusher — the offense kept them in enough games.
There could be a case for the “I” grade for incomplete. Considering the defensive starters went on IR or missed considerable time — Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Kenyon Coleman, Orlando Scandrick, Barry Church and Jay Ratliff — the defense held together fairly well. Coordinator Rob Ryan was left with a handful of players who were not signed off the street, but hadn’t played all season or in training camp. Down the stretch, DeMarcus Ware couldn’t stay healthy and barely mirrored his usual self. But performances by Brandon Carr and Anthony Spencer kept the Cowboys’ defense from completely cracking.
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