The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 17, 2013

DT Jason Hatcher insists Cowboys will be contender

(Continued)

IRVING, Texas —

But the biggest problem was the running game. It was decent against the Giants, then disappeared against the Chiefs. DeMarco Murray bounced away from the line where the hole was supposed to be on his first play and lost 2 yards. He finished with 25 yards on 12 carries, with a long of just 6. Lance Dunbar had 12 yards on his only carry, then fumbled at the end of a pass play and didn’t get another chance.

The Cowboys had one of the worst rushing attacks in team history last year. This year’s pace doesn’t even match that.

“You’ve got to run the ball better, you’ve got to score when you’re down there. You’ve got to stop people. Every team’s doing the same thing after this week that lost, and we’re going to be included in that,” said Romo, who had 298 yards passing and a touchdown to Dez Bryant. Romo also had a critical fumble when he was slow on a release with pressure coming from the backside.

Bryant bounced back from getting shut down by the Giants to have the first 100-yard first quarter for Dallas since Michael Irvin did it 20 years ago. But he had just 41 yards the rest of the way, and a key drop that would have shifted field position when the Cowboys were consistently losing that battle in the second half.

“A lot of us are down right now because of the time and effort all the way through the summer, and we all know that how we played today is not acceptable,” Bryant said. “I know we’re going to go back in and do what we need to do and clean up these mistakes and get it right.”

After the Rams, the Cowboys head back on the road to San Diego, which, like Kansas City, is looking better than it did a year ago. In other words, Jason Garrett’s team has a challenge to break the .500 rut coming off consecutive 8-8 seasons in his first two full years as coach.

“You can’t think here you go again,” tight end Jason Witten said. “We worked hard and lost a game on the road. Lots of football left. We’ve got to get it turned around.”

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

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