IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Bill Parcells certainly has taught the
Dallas Cowboys how to win. Next comes how to look good when doing
The Cowboys won ugly again Sunday, beating the Buffalo Bills
10-6 despite moving only 51 yards on their two scoring drives and
going more than 15 minutes between first downs in the second half.
Question on the Bills: How long before the Bills throw Willis McGahee in the mix?
Travis Henry is still the man in Buffalo. He's a talented, gifted running back who deserves to keep his job. But I wouldn't be surprised to see McGahee play late in the season on a good field if the Bills' season is lost. He was the No. 1 pick, and the front office could be feeling pressure for a return on their investment at that point in the season.
Question on the Cowboys: Can they keep winning these tight games down the stretch?
The Cowboys defense allows them to win tight games like this one. They are playing tenacious defense and keeping a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Offensively, they play well and throw a great deep ball that keeps opposing defenses honest.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
The result is what matters, though, and Dallas (7-2) remains
tied with Carolina for the best record in the NFC. The Cowboys have
won seven of eight and are 2-0 in the five-game stretch Parcells
has dubbed "Showtime."
The rub is that Dallas has looked more ready for vaudeville than
Broadway the last two games. The Cowboys had to overcome four
turnovers, three in the first six plays, to beat Washington.
This time, the Cowboys used a 2-yard touchdown catch by Dan
Campbell, a 51-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff and a stifling
performance by the league's stingiest defense. Add that to a wild
overtime victory over the Giants and another defense-led win over
the Jets, and Dallas could soon be running out of ways to win.
"This is a young team that doesn't understand everything there
is to understand about what this league is," Parcells said. "The
more you win, the more that people get ready for you. You're going
to run into some tough games."
Buffalo seems to run into a tough game every time it leaves
upstate New York.
The Bills (4-5) failed to score a touchdown for the third
straight road game. They've lost four in a row on the road, getting
Coming off a bye week, Buffalo was inept as ever. The only
points were field goals of 29 and 41 yards by Rian Lindell, both in
the second quarter.
The Bills gained 185 yards against a unit that was allowing a
league-best 240.8 yards a game. They had 69 yards on a 2-minute
drill to set up the shorter kick just before halftime.
"When you don't score touchdowns in this league, it's pretty
hard to win," coach Gregg Williams said. "We've got to get
answers, we've got to get touchdowns."
Drew Bledsoe was 17-of-34 for 104 yards while under heavy
pressure all game. He was sacked three times and lost two fumbles;
he was spared from a third by the tuck rule. His longest completion
was an 18-yard screen.
"It wasn't a matter of confusion," said Bledsoe, who fell to
2-4 against Parcells, his first NFL coach. "We knew what was
coming, we knew what they were doing. ... I'm frustrated with our
production. I have complete confidence in my ability to play the
Buffalo's defense lived up to its standing as the league's
third-best, statistically. The Cowboys gained only 236 yards, with
just seven first downs in the second half.
"The only thing we did right today was we didn't turn the ball
over," said Quincy Carter, who was 15-of-32 for a season-low 116
Troy Hambrick ran 13 times for 33 yards, and backup Adrian
Murrell -- signed off the street two weeks ago -- ran for 76 yards.
He had 46 in the fourth quarter, including two third-down
conversions. The most important was a 17-yarder that iced the
Dallas never looked in control. The first scoring drive went
only 24 yards, set up by Bledsoe's first fumble. The field goal
came after Derek Ross took the opening kickoff of the second half
33 yards, then the offense went 27 more.
The Cowboys' next drive reached the Buffalo 29, but they were
stopped on third and fourth downs. Parcells opted not to try a
46-yard field goal because the Bills still could have gone ahead
with a touchdown.
The momentum, though, might've helped. The Cowboys went
three-and-out on their next four possessions, wasting field
position that got better every time: starting from the 30-, 39-,
43- and 50-yard lines. They gained 15 yards over those possessions.
Even after they finally moved the chains, they still ended up
"It wasn't pretty," Parcells said, "but we'll obviously take
Dallas hadn't beaten Buffalo in the regular season since
Nov. 9, 1981. But the Cowboys had beaten them in two Super Bowls
since then. Buffalo had won the last three regular-season meetings.
... Travis Henry ran for 80 yards, leaving him 20 yards shy of
becoming the first Buffalo runner with three straight 100-yard
games since Thurman Thomas did it early in 1994. ... This is the
second time the Cowboys haven't allowed a touchdown and the fourth
time they've allowed seven points or less. ... Rookie Willis
McGahee, put on the roster this week, was inactive.
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