Cowboys miss opportunity

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Sunday was another crazy loss at University of Phoenix Stadium for the Cowboys with LaRod Stephens-Howling’s 52-yard touchdown in overtime settling the outcome, joining the wacky defeats suffered in 2008 in overtime on a blocked punt and last year on a missed point after attempt.

Most of the talk centered on the disappointment of losing a game they should have won, but some of it also talked about the future.

“We hate to lose, of course, but as I’ve said before we’re going to keep the blinders on,” nose tackle Jay Ratliff said. “Whether it’s success or failure, it’s just like we’re going to learn something from both and move forward. It’s not over. There’s still a lot of football and be played and we’re going to stay focused on the mission at hand. Period.”

Had the Cowboys beaten Arizona, they could have clinched the NFC East next week against the New York Giants with a win after the Giants lost to Green Bay. At 7-5, the Cowboys remain in first place, but they also failed to enhance their wild-card chances as well with Chicago and Atlanta losing Sunday, too.

“This is a disappointing loss, you can’t try to excuse that,” tight end Jason Witten said. “There’s not any other way but to be honest with yourself. But this is still a close group and we’ll fight back and be better because of it … It’s step back that we didn’t want but we’ve still got everything in front of us.”