The Dallas Cowboys just lost their third game in the past four weeks.
They couldn't get past the Las Vegas Raiders, who were riding a three-game losing streak of their own, falling 36-33 in overtime.
But even if the Cowboys didn't live up to the expectations and made plenty of avoidable mistakes, the referees had a big influence on the outcome of this game.
They called a whopping 28 penalties for 176 total yards, including multiple crucial defensive pass interference calls that could've completely changed momentum.
Prescott Says Referees Impacted The Game
When asked about the game, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott called out the referees for how they impacted the game, although he claimed that the team needs to focus on the things they can control:
“It’s obvious. They definitely affected the game,” Prescott said, per NBC Sports.“But we’ve got to self-reflect and keep the officials out of the game. One way or another, we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be disciplined. We’ve got to focus on controlling what we can control. Obviously, they’re going to happen. Feel like we’re targeted a little bit, but in the same instance, yeah, we’ve got to be better on our end to try to keep them out of the game.”
Dak Calls Out The Doubters
The Cowboys are going through their worst stretch of the campaign and people are once again questioning whether they have what it takes to go the distance in the playoffs.
However, Prescott doesn't seem too worried about their recent slump, and even called out those who started doubting them after such an impressive start of the season:
“We’ll be OK. I’m sure there’s some people jumping off the bandwagon, but we know what we’re capable of," Prescott told the media, per Jon Machota of The Athletic.
Jerry Jones Isn't Too Worried About The Cowboys' Slump
That's similar to what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had to say about the team's recent struggles.
The controversial businessman is still confident in his team's ability to get over the hump:
“You have to look forward. Yesterday is as dead as Napoleon. It’s gone,” Jones said, as quoted by Charean Williams.“And so we have to look at how to improve. The sky is not falling. When you look at the six games ahead that we have, the cavalry is coming. We’ve gotta take a deep breath and remember that this time of year is where you’re dealing with attrition. You’re normally dealing with a depleted situation in your personnel. Here we come with fresh legs.”
The Cowboys Control Their Fate
The Cowboys expect to have their star receiver duo back next season, as Amari Cooper should be cleared after missing back-to-back games with COVID-19, and CeeDee Lamb should clear the league's concussion protocols.
They have mostly winnable games ahead of them, with a couple of games against the Washington Football Team, and meetings with the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and Arizona Cardinals.
It's still early to sound off the alarms in Arlington but this upcoming stretch should prove what they're really made of.