Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 10/20/12
It's not even November, but have the Cowboys already reached a must-win game? Based on the team's 2-3 start and what lies ahead after Sunday's game at Carolina, the Cowboys definitely need to start making some hay. The Panthers are just 1-4 and this is not a case of their record being deceiving. Carolina has holes everywhere. The Cowboys need to exploit them. Of course, the Cowboys took advantage of Baltimore's weaknesses last week and still found a way to lose. "You need to win the games when you do certain things well," quarterback Tony Romo said. "We didn't do that." You also need to win games you're supposed to win. The Cowboys haven't done a great job of that over the last few seasons. Lately, they've seemed to play up to the level of good teams like the Giants and down to bad teams like Tampa Bay. Rollercoaster efforts lead to rollercoaster seasons. The win-lose-win-lose trend does nothing to build momentum, chemistry or unity. Currently, the Cowboys are on a two-game losing streak, which isn't the kind of consistency they're looking for. "Obviously we want to get back on track and start putting wins together," linebacker Sean Lee said. "Being 2-3, that's not where we want to be. That's not where we expected to be. But we're going to have to find a way to win consistently. Not just this week, but the weeks going forward." It's going to be a lot harder to stack up wins after the Carolina game. Next up are the Giants at home, then road games at Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Cowboys won't face another team with a losing record until Nov. 18 against Cleveland. If they are to have any momentum heading into the next three tough games, a win at Carolina is a must. That's not necessarily the same as a "must-win" because a loss doesn't eliminate the Cowboys from the playoffs. But a loss to Carolina would give them three L's in a row. A loss to a struggling team like Carolina is the kind that could ultimately keep the Cowboys from playoff contention late in the season when the schedule is always the most daunting for them. "It's a very, very important game, I think for both teams," Romo said. "There's a great sense of urgency at practice. The guys have taken the right approach and are committed, but we've got to go out and do it now." Having a sense of urgency in mid-October might seem a little odd, but the Cowboys can't afford to think that way. They've made a tradition out of struggling in December, when good teams gear up for the playoffs and bad teams can suddenly put things together for a game or two. The Cowboys haven't fit the bill of good or bad the last few years. They've been stuck in the twilight of being almost good enough, but not quite. That's the way they played last week at Baltimore, a 31-29 loss. There were optimistic signs in that game despite the defeat, but it's no way to play a season. Ugly wins are infinitely better than encouraging losses. "Last week we thought we put ourselves in position and weren't able to win down the stretch," Lee said. "I feel like we've been close in a lot of these games, but close doesn't get wins." Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dennis Schroder admits Mike Budenholzer wants him to avoid trash talk

WATCH: Miguel Sano throws punch as benches clear in Twins-Tigers game

Glen Coffee making NFL comeback after four years in Army, seven years away from game

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

NBA reportedly investigating incident involving Patrick Beverley, Thunder fan

Blake Griffin out for the season with toe injury; how screwed are the Clippers?

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker