2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys keep falling behind big early at home

    2012-11-23 11:31

(Eds: Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Tony Romo will spend much of his extended weekend trying to figure out how the Dallas Cowboys can get off to better starts.

Jason Witten knows they have to do that and fast - if it's not already too late.

Dallas (5-6) has fallen behind by 10 points or more before halftime in each of its last four home games. The Cowboys lost three of those games, including a Thanksgiving Day game when rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III led Washington to a 28-3 halftime lead.

``We know where we're at, no question to that,'' Witten said. ``We have a long way to go, and a short time to do it. ... It's that time, we have to start doing it, and playing better early in games so that you can stay with the game plan. You can't play football and try to win in those situations.''

After building some much-needed momentum with consecutive victories, while the NFC East-leading New York Giants (6-4) lost two in a row, the Cowboys now are tied for second place with the Redskins.

And Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is already dreading the regular season finale Dec. 30 at Washington in another game against Griffin.

``I'm not trying to be negative, but we've got to play these guys again,'' the ever-optimistic Jones said minutes after Thursday's 38-31 loss. ``And with how impressed I am with how they played, we've got our hands full for that last game.''

In a homecoming of sorts for the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor, the Redskins scored 28 points in the second quarter. It was their first four-touchdown quarter in 13 years.

The Cowboys tried to make a comeback in the second half, when Romo threw three touchdowns. There were two to Dez Bryant, including a career-long 85-yarder and an 11-yarder with 8:18 left that got the Cowboys within 35-28.

Washington then went 50 yards in 11 plays, taking more than 5 minutes off the clock, for a game-sealing field goal.

Including the Cowboys' 23-20 overtime win at home against two-win Cleveland, when they trailed 13-0 at halftime, Romo threw 112 passes in a five-day span.

``It's just not going to be a fun few days. It's just going to eat at you and consume all of your thoughts. You think about what you can do to help this football team get better,'' Romo said. ``I'm exhausting my brain thinking about things to do and things to help us get off to better starts and move the ball better.''

With the Cowboys falling behind so often at home, Romo has attempted at least 50 passes in each of his last three home games, after only three 50-pass games his first 83 starts overall since taking over in the middle of the 2006 season.

Romo attempted 62 passes Thursday against the Redskins. That matched his career record set less than a month earlier in a 29-24 home loss to the Giants, who led 23-0 early in the second quarter.

``Can't spot good teams, we've talked about that all along. That's what's disappointing, we continue to do it and it's just too hard to overcome,'' Witten said. ``You get away from your plan. All the work you put in the week to study, and the formations how you're going to attack them, it goes out the window. ... We've got to start better in these games and give ourselves a chance.''

The Cowboys return to practice Monday to start preparations for their third consecutive home game, Dec. 2 against Philadelphia. They won 38-23 at Philly on Nov. 11.

Dallas was down 10-0 in less than 5 minutes at Seattle in the second week of the season. Since then, all of the early double-digit deficits have come at home.

The Chicago Bears took a 10-0 lead on their way to a 34-18 Monday night victory Oct. 1. Dallas actually rebounded from that 23-point deficit Oct. 28 against the Giants to take a lead into the fourth quarter before New York kicked two field goals.

Cleveland surprisingly put Dallas in a quick hole, and the Redskins responded with their 28-point outburst in the second quarter after the Cowboys kicked a field goal on their opening drive.

``Everything we want is still in front of us,'' Witten said. ``But at some point, it has to turn for us. Yeah, we fight. Yeah, we've got will. But let's fix it. You've got to show it. That's the only thing you can do about it.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

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