None of the eight head coaches in the history of the Dallas
Cowboys have had their tenures end more quickly than Chan
However, with his Buffalo Bills set to play three consecutive
road games following an awful offensive performance, Gailey is more
concerned about getting a victory than exacting revenge on his
The Bills will try to avoid losing two straight for the first
time this season Sunday when they face a Cowboys team trying to
make a push for the NFC East lead under coach Jason Garrett.
Hired in 1998 to replace Barry Switzer, Gailey went 18-14 in two
seasons with the Cowboys, leading them to the playoffs twice yet
never winning a postseason game. Since getting fired by owner Jerry
Jones, Gailey has been an offensive coordinator in Miami and Kansas
City as well as the head coach at Georgia Tech from 2002-07.
“I’ve worked a lot of places, unfortunately, but it’s one of
those deals where you remember your time there and there were some
good times and some bad times (in Dallas),” Gailey said. “But
that’s not the focus. The focus is trying to win a game. … We got
everything in front of us – we hold our own destiny in our own
hands, so we gotta go take care of business.”
Buffalo (5-3) failed to do so in Sunday’s 27-11 loss to the New
York Jets. The Bills – tied with New England as the AFC’s
highest-scoring team at 27.8 points per game – failed to reach 20
for the first time this season. They went 3 of 11 on third-down
conversions and committed a season-high three turnovers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had two interceptions, giving him six in the
last four games.
“It was a bad game,” said Fitzpatrick, who was 15 of 31 for a
season-worst 191 yards. “We certainly didn’t have our best effort
out there, and I think that’s where a lot of disappointment and
frustration comes in.”
Led by Fred Jackson – the AFC’s leading rusher at 100.4 yards
per game – the Bills are averaging 135.0 yards on the ground to
rank seventh in the NFL. Buffalo, though, ran for just 96 last
Sunday, and Jackson lost a fumble for the first time this year.
Dallas has allowed 401 yards on the ground over the past two
weeks, though leading tackler Sean Lee expects to return after
missing the last game and a half with a wrist injury.
If the Bills want to claim their first AFC East title since 1995
– they’re tied atop the division with the Patriots and the Jets –
they’ll likely have to make some noise on the road. Buffalo visits
Dallas, Miami and the Jets before its next home game Dec. 4 against
“It will be a difficult stretch, but we don’t have to play all
three of them at the same time,” Jackson said. “If we go out and
continue to make plays like we have been throughout the season, we
feel like we’ll be OK.”
Buffalo is 1-2 on the road, but those losses were each by three
points to first-place teams – Cincinnati and the Giants.
While the Cowboys “can’t hover around .500,” as tight end Jason
Witten said, the road ahead could be much smoother than the first
half, which ended with Sunday’s 23-13 win over Seattle.
Dallas (4-4) has upcoming games versus Washington, Miami and
Arizona – they are a combined 6-18 – before a Dec. 11 matchup with
the NFC East-leading Giants.
“We’ve done a lot of things to build on over the first eight
games, a lot we can be positive about. … But we have to get
better,” said Garrett – a quarterback on Gailey’s Cowboys teams –
who is 9-7 since taking over for the fired Wade Phillips last
The Cowboys’ running game has taken a huge step forward since
Felix Jones suffered a high ankle sprain. In the three games Jones
has missed, rookie DeMarco Murray has rushed for 466 yards – 42
more than the team’s total through Week 5.
“We are going to have a great 1-2 punch when Felix gets
healthy,” Witten said. “It’s going to put us in a great
Jones is questionable Sunday, but Cowboys wide receiver Miles
Austin could be out for up to a month after injuring his right
hamstring last week.
“It’s going to be hard without him,” Tony Romo said. “…
Obviously we’ll have to do some things to counter it.”
That will likely mean more targets for Dez Bryant, Laurent
Robinson and Kevin Ogletree.
Buffalo’s defense ranks 25th against the pass, allowing 260.4
yards per game, but leads the AFC with 15 interceptions.
Romo was picked off a career-high five times the last time these
teams met, but the Cowboys scored nine points in the final 20
seconds to win 25-24 in Orchard Park on Oct. 8, 2007.
Including victories in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, Dallas is
7-3 versus Buffalo.