Now we come to week number two, in which the Cowboys showed that their performance against the Redskins may not have been as fluky as previously thought (by me, anyway).  It was the first home game for the Cowboys in 2010, and it was pretty close throughout.  This was the second of several close losses Dallas had this season.

Here are some highlights from the game (although it’s mostly Bears-related).

This clip shows much of the same plays that are in the previous one, except the good plays Dallas had are included.

From what I see, turnovers and defensive lapses were what killed Dallas in this game.  The Cowboys had three turnovers, while the Bears had none.  The first two were interceptions thrown by Tony Romo that led to field goals for Chicago, while the final one, a fumble by Roy Williams, allowed the Bears to run a little bit of time off the clock in the fourth quarter.  More importantly, Dallas was trailing by 10 at the time, and had been moving the ball pretty well before the turnover.  Chicago punted after three plays, but Dallas was pinned back at its own 21 yard line and had to start over again.  They did manage a field goal with under two minutes left, but the onside kick try failed, and the Bears ran out the rest of the clock.

Now for the defensive problems.  Looking at the first video clip, three plays stand out to me.  First, at the 1:15 mark, the Cowboys allowed TE Greg Olsen to take a short catch and run free for a touchdown.  He was uncovered, and no one was in a position to stop him from scoring.  Second, at the 2:08 mark, was the 59 yard pass Jay Cutler threw to Johnny Knox.

Johnny Knox makes a reception after getting past Mike Jenkins.

It’s bad enough to give up a big play, but it was 3rd down and 15 from their own 21 yard line.  Knox just blew past Mike Jenkins, and the Bears scored a touchdown a few plays later.  Finally, the third play that made a difference comes at the 4:02 mark.  It was a three point game, and Chicago had a 2nd and two play at the Dallas 41 yard line.  Cutler threw a short pass to Devin Hester, who was wide open, and he got by Terence Newman for a big gain inside the Dallas five yard line.  Chicago scored a touchdown on the next play to put the game away.

With all of the bad plays on offense and defense, there were some good things to take away from this loss.  For one thing, Miles Austin was doing a good job showing that what he accomplished the previous season was not a fluke, and he was the real deal.  For the second straight game, he had 10 catches, showing that he can be a go-to guy.  Unfortunately, this would be the last game of the season that we would see him catch so many passes.

Another good thing to see was Dez Bryant scoring his first career touchdown on a punt return.

Dez Bryant scores on a punt return against the Bears.

The rookie only caught two passes, but this play, which gave Dallas the first of two leads it would hold in this game, showed the kind of big play ability we hoped to see from him.

All in all, it was a game that could have gone the other way, but mistakes again sealed the Cowboys’ fate.

Record to this point:  0-2

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