Jeff Heath's two picks go for naught in loss to Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. – Had the Dallas Cowboys ended their losing streak Sunday, Jeff Heath would have been a hero.

Heath had two interceptions of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston in the red zone to end scoring threats. In a low-scoring game, it was exactly what the Cowboys needed Sunday, something they lacked all season.

But the Cowboys did not beat the Buccaneers, and Heath isn’t the hero.

Instead, Heath's defensive holding penalty wiped out a Winston fumble on third-and-goal from the Dallas 4 with 59 seconds to play. Winston scored the game-winning touchdown on the next play, waltzing into the end zone on a bootleg.

“They made the right call,” Heath said.

Heath grabbed Buccaneers receiver Russell Shepard as he ran across the field.

“I’ve got to be more disciplined in that situation,” Heath said.

Heath’s discipline had him in position to intercept Winston twice. He was in zone coverage on both plays with his eyes on the quarterback. On the first, Winston missed Brandon Myers. On the second, he threw behind Adam Humphries.

Heath’s first pick came at the Dallas 5. His second came at the Dallas 9.

“He was around the ball a lot,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He made some tackles then made two signature plays taking the ball away down in the red area. Those were huge plays for us.”

But instead of talking about the first two-interception game of his career and the first by a Cowboys defender since Bruce Carter last year against the Washington Redskins, Heath’s story revolved around the penalty.

“We know that no one feels sorry for us,” Heath said. “We don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us. That’s the way this league happens. You’ve got to bring it every week. Every game is going to come down to a play here, a play there. And there’s really no other choice you have other than to come back.”