Jason Witten uttered what was on every Cowboys fan’s mind amid last week’s brutal loss to the New York Jets.
As captured by NFL Films, Dallas’ veteran tight end rued the offense’s inability to find the end zone and its proclivity to settle for the leg of kicker Brett Maher.
“I’m gonna say this as calmly as I know how: Field goals aren’t going to win this (expletive) game, man!” Witten said, not very calmly, to TEs coach Doug Nussmeier. “We need a touchdown!”
It was too little, too late for the slow-starting Cowboys offense in New Jersey. The team finished with more plays (75-54), total yards (399-382), and won time of possession (32:03-27:57). But injuries, penalties (9), questionable play-calling, and red zone inefficiency (2-of-4) ultimately helped spring a Jets upset.
Witten benefited from the rash of issues in the WR corps. He tied for a team-high with seven targets, catching five for 57 yards in the 24-22 defeat — his biggest output of the season.
Maher, as fate would have it, was the difference in this contest. He drilled three field goals, including a whopping 62-yarder, but missed wide right from 40 yards out, a three-point swing in a two-point loss.
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Garrett Accepts Blame
Coaches coach and players play. Neither party shouldered the loss at East Rutherford, as the execution was sloppy, the gameplan shoddy, and the in-game management abysmal. The players teetered between flat and apathetic, going so far as to ignore head coach Jason Garrett.
As the club’s lightning rod, Garrett absorbed the most criticism, with both Cowboys fans and the national media calling for his firing. And while the organization isn’t caving to the pressure, Garrett admitted fault for not having his squad prepared to beat a winless opponent.
“How the players execute is a direct reflection of the coaches,” he said, per The Athletic.
Zeke Regrets Failed Opportunity vs. Jets [WATCH]
Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott busted a 13-yard scamper against the Jets, his longest of the afternoon. But it could have been a bigger gainer, as Elliott failed to follow a lead block by center Travis Frederick, cutting inside when he should’ve bounced outside.
“It’s a play that could’ve changed the game and won the game,” he said.
Elliott notched his third 100-yard effort of the year, logging 105 yards and a touchdown on 28 totes — a season-high. A primary target in the hamstrung passing attack, Zeke added five receptions for 48 yards.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL