DENVER -- There are many reasons you can point out for the Cowboys defensive futility in their 42-17 loss at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Dallas couldn't get off the field, there were injuries, and key mistakes at inopportune times.
But perhaps it was more simple than that, so let's call it what it really was - the Cowboys defense got their butts kicked at the hands of the Broncos and it started the moment they took the field. Now, they weren't alone. The offense didn't fare any better.
But we're going to focus on a defense that didn't allow the Giants into the end zone, in a game that seems like it was years ago, after the head-scratching performance Sean Lee and company came up with at Mile High Sunday.
"It's a bad loss," said Lee. "we're going to have to move on.
"It's unacceptable how we played, how we tackled. We got dominated."
Yes, they did, and all the metrics back it up.
Denver converted 9-of-15 third downs for a 60% conversion rate. The Broncos held the ball for 18-and-a-half minutes of the game's first 30 minutes. C.J. Anderson became the first running back to rush for more than 100 yards since December of 2015.
"It was us. We weren't doing our jobs," said linebacker Jaylon Smith. "As a defense, you have to play together, collectively, and when we do that we're successful. And when you don't all it takes is one person to mess up and it creates havoc."
The Cowboys also had bad breaks injury-wise. Chidobe Awuzie left with hamstring issues, and Nolan Carroll left with a concussion. So the Cowboys had to play most of the second half with just two healthy cornerbacks.
Rookie Jourdan Lewis was pressed into service in what was his NFL debut. He gave up a pair of touchdowns but also had his first career interception.
"Supposed to be ready; that's my job," said Lewis of being thrown into the fire. "My job is to get in there and play, so there are no excuses. I didn't get it done."
He wasn't the only one. In fact, next to no one on the Cowboys defense, or offense played up to their capability. The 42 points allowed the most the Cowboys have given up since 2013.
"We're going to have to come back next week, and prove the kind of defense we think we are," said Lee. "but right now that's as bad as you can play."
Well said; enough said.
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