Game Four: This one was ugly

The Jets run defense had their worst game of the season, and their offense was once again unable to score touchdowns. <p>

The result was a fourth straight loss, this time to the visiting Dallas Cowboys.

The Jets are now off to their worst start to begin a season since Rich Kotite was the head coach.

Gang Green sits alone at last place in the AFC East with a 0-4 record.

The Jets surrendered over 200 yards rushing to a Dallas Cowboys team that averaged 128 yards a game coming into the contest. Troy Hambrick set a new career high in total yards rushing for a single game. The first-year starter torched the Jets defense for 127 yards on 24 carries for a 5.3 average. The Jets also were once again unable to run the football effectively finishing with just 66 yards rushing.

The Jets started the game off as usual with a promising opening drive, which looked good until they got near the red zone.

On their first offensive series, New York took the ball and drove 39 yards on 11 plays. The Jets had to settle for a Doug Brien field goal from 39 yards out because Curtis Martin could not get the four yards on third down the Jets needed to convert. Martin ran for a loss of one. It was a questionable play call at best.

The Jets were ahead after the first quarter - 3-0.

The Cowboys took the lead on a Hambrick 31-yard touchdown scamper, which an upset Chester McGlockton took the blame for.

"I made a mistake in the first quarter that cost us a touchdown," said McGlockton. "That was a major turning point to the game, if I am there in my gap, that play goes for a yard. That was my gap."

This gave Dallas the 7-3 second quarter edge.

The Cowboys struck back again later in the second quarter when Quincy Carter found Antonio Bryant in the back of the end zone. It was a 13-yard touchdown strike. The play was reviewed to see if the receiver had possession of the football before he went out of bounds. The call went to Dallas.

What was most disturbing about this drive was how easily Dallas marched down the field. The Cowboys drove 80 yards on eight plays, in just 1:31.

The Cowboys took a 14-3 lead into the half.

New York seemed to have something going late in the third period. The Jets were fresh off a Sam Garnes interception in the end zone. The pass thrown by Carter was intended for Bryant. It seemed like this interception provided a spark to a team in desperate need of just that.

But once again just when things started to look promising, Gang Green approached the twenty-yard line of their opponent, the kiss of death so far this season.

They were able to drive 60 yards on 11 plays; however on a third and 5, on the Dallas 25 yard line, Testaverde threw a pass that was dropped by WR Curtis Conway.

Testaverde was 6-7 on this drive for 54 yards; his only incompletion was Conway's drop. Once again the "kings of the field goals" did what they excel at.

Doug Brien strolled onto the field like he has so many times this season, and kicked a 38-yard field goal. This cut the Dallas lead to 14-6.

Dallas took over at their own five-yard line with 11:06 to go in the game. They once again dominated the Jet defense.

This time the Cowboys only got a field goal, but more damaging was the time that ticked off the clock. Dallas drove the ball 87 yards on 11 plays, and ate up over six minutes on the fourth period game clock. Billy Cundiff kicked a 26-yard field goal, giving the Cowboys and Bill Parcells a 17-6 advantage.

Only a tackle behind the line of scrimmage on third and two, prevented Dallas from scoring six. Sam Cowart made the tackle of Carter.

There would be no more scoring the rest of the game.

However that does not stop the never-ending game of second-guessing.

The Jets did have an opportunity to crawl back into this game late in the fourth period. The Jets needed two scores, either two touchdowns to win, or a touchdown, a two point conversion, and a field goal to tie.

They were deep in Dallas territory with 2:38 remaining in this game. The Jets elected to try and go for the touchdown, rather than kicking the field goal, a move not too many would disagree with.

But someone forgot to tell Gang Green's offense where the first down marker was.

On a fourth and 3 from the Dallas 10 yard line, Testaverde threw out wide to Chrebet on his right for two yards. He was tackled as soon as the ball got to him, and down he went along with any hope the Jets had at a comeback.

"We were trying to get Wayne out in the flat, and have him beat the cornerback" said Herman Edwards after the game. "I certainly was not going to kick the field goal."


As a team, Gang Green out passed the Cowboys 219-165.

The Cowboys out-gained New York in total yards 360-285.

Dallas was 44% converting on third downs, and New York was 42%. Dallas was 1-2 inside the red zone scoring touchdowns, and the Jets were 0-2.

Sam Cowart summed it up best when asked about the team's 0-4 start - "We have got to take a long look at ourselves this week."

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