What Went Wrong, No. 5: Poor starts

January, 7, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys showed a remarkable ability to come back from double-digit deficits throughout the course of the season.

[+] EnlargeChris Jones
Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesThe Cowboys' three disastrous opening drives in Week 2 at Seattle included a blocked punt, and Dallas found itself down 10-0 early on.
Unfortunately, they were mostly caused by their poor starts. Whatever Jason Garrett was selling before the game, the Cowboys were not buying at the beginning, especially early in the season.

In Week 2 at Seattle, the Cowboys fumbled the opening kickoff, allowed a blocked punt return for a touchdown and had an interception on their first three drives, which led to a 10-0 deficit and 27-7 loss.

In Week 4 against Chicago, the Cowboys found themselves down 24-10 thanks to interception returns for touchdowns by Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs.

In Week 8 against the New York Giants, they trailed 23-0 thanks in part to two interceptions, including a 28-yard pick-six by Jason Pierre-Paul.

On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys allowed 28 second-quarter points, falling behind by 25 at halftime against Washington.

For a team that had little margin for error, the poor starts were too much to overcome and played a big part in why the Cowboys finished 8-8 for the second straight year.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter



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