Slow starts hurting Cowboys

November, 24, 2012
11/24/12
11:17
AM ET
When you think about why the Cowboys are 5-6 this season, check out the starts to games.

Entering the weekend, the Cowboys have scored just 30 first-quarter points, 29th in the NFL.

They trailed Washington 28-3, Cleveland 13-0, the New York Giants 23-0 and Chicago and Seattle 10-0. Not all in the first quarter mind you, but when you have to rally it brings up misleading stats and makes your offense one-sided, meaning you're forced to pass all game.

This season, quarterback Tony Romo has attempted 35 or more passes in a game eight times. In games where that happens, the Cowboys are 2-6.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't believe a slow start was the problem in the Redskins loss because his team was ahead 3-0, but the Cowboys settled for a field goal on their first possession.

Over the next five weeks the Cowboys have to establish themselves early in the game, getting out fast -- and getting touchdowns especially -- to set the tone.

If not, then this season will be lost by Christmas Day.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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