Five thoughts on Cowboys’ loss to Redskins

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys made it a little interesting before eventually dropping their sixth game of the season, 38-31 to the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.

Here are my five thoughts on the game.

1.) It’s time to stop waiting for this Cowboys team to put it all together, play a complete game and potentially get hot. That’s not happening. They’re done. Dropping to 5-6 on the season officially marks the end of their playoff chances in my book. Yes, they had a lot of injuries, but so did a lot of other teams, including the Redskins. It’s baffling that they can’t create any type of home field advantage. They’re actually worse at Cowboys Stadium. How many quality teams can say that? Jerry Jones will put his spin on it, but when the cameras and tape recorders are turned off, I find it hard to believe he isn’t talking about potentially going in another direction with the head coaching position.

Why does it take so long to get the offense going at home? One of the characteristics of Jason Garrett’s coaching tenure has been poor starts at home and, to no surprise, it continued Thursday. The Cowboys fell behind 28-3, marking the eighth consecutive time that has happened dating back to Nov. 13 of last year. This season alone, Dallas trailed 7-0 against Tampa Bay, 24-7 against Chicago, 23-0 against New York and 13-0 against Cleveland. The Cowboys fell behind 20-0 to Philadelphia, 5-0 to New York and 3-0 to Miami in their final three home games last season. How does that happen? Seriously. One would think they’d get lucky at least once and take an early lead.

3.) Blame Tony Romo all you want for his mistakes but, like I’ve said in my post game thoughts before, there are bigger problems. Romo threw for 441 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions and suffered his first home loss in the month of November. The Cowboys should sign him to an extension and focus on fixing this poor offensive line. With the emergence of Dez Bryant and a healthy DeMarco Murray, this offense could be very good over the next few years. I’m sure plenty of you will disagree with this. Feel free, I’m not changing my mind, Romo gets too much of the blame.

4.) Even the biggest of Dez Bryant detractors can’t say much after another career day from the Cowboys’ most athletically-gifted player. Less than a week after recording 12 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown, Bryant hauled in eight passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday’s loss. The Cowboys and their fans have been waiting for the light to go on for the 24-year-old former first-round pick and it apparently has. Not only did Bryant turn in gaudy numbers for the second consecutive game he has put together three straight outings with a TD catch and significant production in the second half. Bryant was one of the only bright spots in an overall ugly Cowboys performance.

5.) Joining Bryant on that list of positives is outside linebacker Anthony Spencer and defensive end Jason Hatcher. Robert Griffin III torched the Cowboys but it wasn’t because of these two. Spencer recorded two sacks, giving him a career-high 6.5 this season. Spencer also led the Cowboys with 10 tackles. Hatcher’s numbers weren’t as impressive but he created pressure on several occasions. Obviously their efforts weren’t enough, but they deserve some praise.

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota