Amari Cooper was prepared to confess his sin.
The “worst three words in football,” he called them.
He was describing his frame of mind on Dak Prescott’s very first interception, a play-action throw to Cooper down the middle of the field that ricocheted off the Cowboys receiver’s hands before Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander snagged it and returned the choice 37 yards.
Cooper had actually believed to himself on the play: I got it.
” That’s what I was believing, and those are the worst three words in football,” Cooper said, eschewing appreciation for his career-high 226 receiving yards as he regreted the interception he felt he must have captured. “I seem like I had it. It was an easy catch. Took my eyes off it due to the fact that I was concentrated on the touchdown and I dropped it, and it produced a turnover.”.
It was the very first of three turnovers the Cowboys would surrender in a 34-24 loss to Green Bay in the house. It yielded the very first of 31 straight points the Packers would score prior to the Cowboys took a ball home.
The Cowboys had numerous intense areas in their second-straight week losing, from the 563 yards of offense they put together to a 4th quarter in which they outgained the Packers 146 yards to 14 and 12 first downs to three. However the offense that clicked near game’s end and the defense that silenced Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones late stopped working to make those marks in three quarters that yielded a 31-3 deficit till 2:09 remained in the 3rd.
” It is a reality check,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “It’s going to be difficult to win games in this league if we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.”.
In the Cowboys’ consecutive losses, Prescott has now represented five interceptions. The Cowboys run defense, on the other hand, enabled Aaron Jones to rush for 4 touchdowns– the most to any back in franchise history.
A 21-point return in the last 18 minutes of the video game– which might have been higher, as a charge negated Brett Maher’s made 28-yard field goal before he missed from 33– left players and management with hope that the strengths that propelled the Cowboys team to 3-0 last month weren’t a fluke.
” That’s my man,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thought to himself as Prescott rushed left for 14 yards, 2:45 to play, the Cowboys tracking by 10. “That’s the competitor in him. … I believed, ‘Boy, you need to kill him to get the rival out of him.'”.
But that approach and the roster’s skill aren’t enough to win video games, Prescott said his team realized as the Packers outplayed them.
” We understand we’re a great team, and I’m not taking that away or stating we’re not,” the quarterback said. “I understand we’re an actually, actually great team. And we’re positive in the players we have and positive in what we can do.
” But often, you need to know that it’s the work that gets the wins. It’s not the skill. It’s not the sociability. It’s the work.”.
That message permeated throughout a remarkably constant losing locker room.
Sure, Jones, coaches and gamers were all dissatisfied that the performance for most of the video game disappointed what they required to win. However they left the field inspired by their resurgence effort and influenced by teammates’ responsibility for the slew of miscues.
Take Cooper focusing on the interception he tipped instead of his receiving output.
” Amari saying that, I believe, is an example of guys in the locker space,” Prescott said. “A great deal of guys on our group look in the mirror prior to they point fingers.
” As long as we have those kind of men on our group, we’re going to be fine.”.
In all possibility, reversing their fortunes will take a more consistent efficiency throughout games. It will take surer taking on with running risks like Le’Veon Bell, Sony Michel and Todd Gurley ahead on the schedule. It will take much better ball security from Prescott, who Jones insisted is “renowned for his ability to secure the ball,” though he added “the turnover thing alone actually puts you behind the eight ball.”.
But “the best thing for me tonight,” Jones continued, is that “our team didn’t understand right at the end of the video game, in the last two minutes, three minutes, that they couldn’t win this video game. … We have actually got a spirit that actually is encouraging.”.
Now the Cowboys must implement that spirit, and those irregular bursts of competitiveness, throughout all four quarters of each video game. Before going to the Jets next week, they’ll look in the mirror to do just that, players said.
” We don’t always need to have our backs versus the wall to play like we did [late],” Prescott said. “We’ve got to figure out whatever it is, find out the way or whatever it is to start the game like that.
” When we discover that, it’s going to threaten.”.
Follow Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
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