ARLINGTON - There is one question being asked by fans of the Dallas Cowboys after their impotent performance in a 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day.
"Where do we go from here?"
Embattled coach Jason Garrett's not-good-enough answer? “We just need to get back to work,'' he said in the aftermath.
It was a game that Jerry Jones wanted, it was a game that the Cowboys had to get for playoff and divisional purposes, and it was a game that Jason Garrett needed to keep his name out of the fire in the upcoming week.
It wasn't to be, however, as the Josh Allen-led Bills dominated the Cowboys in just about every sense of the word, with Allen completing 19-of-24 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown while rushing for an additional 43 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
At one point, Allen had completed 11 passes in a row on the suddenly hapless Cowboys defense, which allowed the Bills to amass a total of 356 yards and hold onto the football for a total of 33 minutes and 12 seconds.
Some of those throws on that streak were hauled in by former Cowboys slot-man Cole Beasley, who got the last laugh in catching six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in his former stadium. Also fun for the Bills' receiving corps? Pass-catcher John Brown actually tossed a TD pass to Devin Singletary.
Dallas got a game-opening Jason Witten TD and was at times able to move the football against the Buffalo defense, putting up 426 total yards of their own in the game, including 355 yards and two scores from Dak Prescott.
Unfortunately for Dallas, they also made far too many mistakes to survive, with Prescott turning the ball over twice, Dallas turning it over on downs two additional times, and Brett Maher missing a pair of field goals that could have potentially made it a one-score game down the stretch.
Ezekiel Elliott was also unable to make any sort of significant impact in the outcome of the game, carrying the ball just 12 times for 71 yards, and catching seven passes for an additional 66 yards.
Still, after some Michael Bennett-led yelling in the locker room, Prescott issued some calming words (or tried to.)
“No belief has been lost. No confidence has been lost,'' the Dallas leader said. "It's all about us executing. ... We control our destiny. ... It will happen.”
Following the loss, Dallas (6-6) has now dropped three of the last four games and has fallen back down to .500 for the first time since their 24-22 loss to the New York Jets back in October. It will also finish the season 1-3 against the AFC East, with the lone victory over the division coming against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.
So where do the Cowboys go from here? That remains unclear at the moment but given owner Jerry Jones' answers to our Mike Fisher, Jason Garrett is keeping his job.
“This is not the time for me (to change),” Jones said, tears welling in his eyes. “I’m looking ahead at another ballgame. I’m looking ahead at winning four or five straight and helping write a story they will talk about, how it looks like you’re down-and-out. And I mean that. That’s the way that I’m operating. Every decision that I make over the next month will be with an eye in mind to get us in the Super Bowl now.”
OK, then, it's back to the drawing board for the Cowboys, who have a full week of rest before they take on the Chicago Bears in Chicago next Thursday night on Fox.