It wasn't supposed to be like this.
With arguably more talent on either side of the ball than most of the National Football League, this was supposed to be the year the Dallas Cowboys reached greatness.
This was supposed to be the year America's Team reached the Super Bowl.
Five games in, nothing could be further from the truth.
Following a 24-21 setback to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys were left searching for answers to questions that all begin with "why?"
After suffering another game filled with embarrassing penalties and other self-inflicted wounds, there's little room for error the rest of the season.
"I've never been through this," defensive end Marcus Spears said. "It's heart-wrenching. We are going to fight. But we are what we are right now. We are one and four. We are not in the top of the NFL. It's just what it is. That's the answer. Until we can turn this thing around and stop killing ourselves, we will have this conversation again."
The Cowboys got off to an early lead, thanks mostly to two touchdown passes from Tony Romo to Roy Williams, but there were two costly mistakes that took away momentum from both plays- and both came from Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin.
First he was flagged for excessive celebration when he jumped over Williams in the end zone after the first touchdown. Then he was called for offensive pass interference on what would've been a 68-yard touchdown catch and run.
He shoved Vikings cornerback Asher Allen to the turf on a play in which it didn't need to.
Williams said afterwards, "We beat ourselves one more time. How many times are we going to do it?"
Trailing 14-7 at halftime, it took all of 15 seconds for the Vikings to tie the game in the third quarter as Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
Romo was later intercepted by E.J. Henderson, his second of the game, which help setup the Vikings go-ahead field goal after Dez Bryant caught his first touchdown pass of the season.
It was the two interceptions, counting for 10 Minnesota points, and 11 penalties for 91 yards that proved to be the difference.
Romo now has five interceptions in his last two games and seven on the season. He had only nine picks all last season after having double-digit interceptions in his first three seasons as a starter.
Another game, and another way the Dallas Cowboys have found ways to beat themselves.
NOTES: Dez Bryant logged his first career receiving touchdown in the third quarter. It was also a career-long 31-yard grab.
Disaster strikes again
CowboysHQ Top Stories
5 FishTips: Cowboys Winning Gameplan Review5 FishTips: The Cowboys Winning Gameplan In Review
Dez Bryant's MRI + Jerry's Cowboys Q&AOn Dez Bryant's MRI + Jerry Jones' Cowboys Q&A, thanks to the team owner's notable, confusing Tuesday visit with 105.3 The Fan ...
CowboysHQYesterday at 9:29 AM
Cowboys Rooks Shine Behind Battered O-LineCowboys Rookies Shine Behind Battered O-Line; Surgery Possible For La'el Collins
CowboysHQMonday at 4:58 PM
Cowboys Ex Greg Hardy Arrested On Drug ChargeFish Kept Calling It The 'Uptown Flu' ... And Now Some Added Insight, Maybe As Cowboys Ex Greg Hardy Is Arrested On Drug Charges
CowboysHQMonday at 4:34 PM