Looking problems in offense, Cowboys start from the games' start

Looking problems in offense, Cowboys start from the games' start

Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Washington Redskins during a Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

IRVING -- There are so many issues with the Dallas Cowboys offense that it’s hard to know where to start.

More production in the first half might help, especially since the Cowboys have not had a 7-0 lead in any game this season. Only twice all year have they been able to score a touchdown on their first possession.

"Often times it comes down to execution," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "You look at the tape and you say, 'Boy, but we didn't do this, we didn't do this.' You know as coaches, we take a lot of responsibility for execution."

In addition to the lack of execution early on, Garrett said the team’s inability to convert third-down plays has also become an issue and that has become painfully obvious in the red zone.

"The focus is doubling your efforts," said Bill Callahan, the Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. "It's really refocusing to a point where you can maximize your concentration -- double your efforts in the red zone because everything becomes more critical."

In the 11 games so far, the Cowboys have been outscored in the first half 130-to-73. And it's gotten even worse lately, as Washington and Cleveland outscored Dallas in the first half 41-to-3 in the last two games.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said converting third downs is only part the problem.

"You could look at one game and that could be the case," Romo said. "In another game, we're behind the chains whether we didn't get enough yards running or we had an incompletion that put us in a third-and-long or penalty. So, there's a lot of different reasons."

Tight end Jason Witten said those situations early put the team in a bad place late in games.

"It's hard to come back when you're that way," Witten said. "You can't spot good teams, as I said last week, and try to come back from that. We know in order to have success we've got to be able to do that early in games. I just think too many negative plays in the running game and the passing game."

You add it all up, and it doesn't paint a very positive picture.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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