Anthony Brown dropped an interception. Travis Frederick had a costly holding penalty. Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant dropped passes.
But the biggest blunder in the Dallas Cowboys’ 35-30 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon came at the expense of rookie returner Ryan Switzer.
With the Cowboys leading 17-6 midway through the second quarter, Switzer fumbled a punt that the Rams recovered on the Cowboys’ 18. That set up a touchdown for the Rams and made it a 17-13 game, shifting momentum the Cowboys struggled to get back.
“I was assessing where I was on the field and didn’t end up catching it cleanly,” Switzer said. “It happens. Not the first time I’ve done it. Won’t be the last. Obviously, it’s a big play in the game but I thought we bounced back well.”
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Switzer’s gaffe marked only the beginning for the Cowboys. A few of the more notables –
▪ On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, the Cowboys couldn’t come up with the ball on a strip-sack by DeMarcus Lawrence.
▪ On the first offensive series in the second half for the Cowboys, Bryant let a pass go right through his hands on third-and-11 that would have been good for a first down.
▪ Dak Prescott threw his third interception on the drive right after the Rams had taken a 29-24 lead. Prescott didn’t throw his third interception until the 13th game last season.
“Me and my accuracy, we’ve got to be consistent throughout the whole game,” Prescott said.
▪ The Cowboys had a chance to tie the game at 32-32 with a successful two-point conversion. Prescott ran it in on the first attempt, but center Travis Frederick was called for holding.
It marked the first holding penalty by Frederick this season.
▪ Prescott threw an interception on the second attempt, but the Rams were called for holding. On the next attempt, Prescott bought enough time and tried to hit Williams in the back of the end zone. The ball bounced off Williams’ chest.
▪ With the Rams leading 32-30 after that, cornerback Anthony Brown had a surefire interception that slipped through his hands. The Cowboys would have taken over in Rams territory, but instead they ran 11 more plays and capped the drive with a field goal.
Brown shook his head afterward about the missed opportunity.
“Just one of them days, man,” Brown said. “I just misjudged it. I jumped too early. That’s all it was.”
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wasn’t pleased the defense failed to get a takeaway for the second straight. Lawrence’s strip-sack and Brown’s miss were the best opportunities.
“It’s tough to win close games with no takeaways,” Marinelli said. “You’ve got to have them.”
▪ On the Cowboys final drive, Williams dropped another pass on first down.
Brown might have summed it up best, saying: “We beat ourselves today, man. They didn’t beat us. The Cowboys beat the Cowboys.”
Added tight end Jason Witten: “These games come down to just a couple plays. This group is really close, accountable, understand what the winning formula looks like. We’ve just got to get back to it. I wish I had a better answer than that. That’s where it falls. When you have a team down who you know has been putting up a lot of points, you just have to have a chance to finish them out. We just couldn’t do it consistently enough down the stretch.”