ARLINGTON, Texas _ Joe Burrow says the 0-2 Bengals won't panic after Sunday's second straight last-snap loss on a field goal, this one 20-17 to the Cowboys.
"No panic. We've lost two games before. We lost two straight games several times last year," Burrow said of his AFC champs who lost two straight twice. "There's a lot of football to be played. We moved on from those games and made the corrections we needed to make. We have a great coaching staff that will do that and we have the players to make it happen. We just have to find some "Two Tampa Beaters," and get some explosive plays."
_Burrow referred to The Tampa Two, a soft zone Dallas employed Sunday to bottle up the Bengals' downfield strikes. His longest play was a 19-yard pass to Tee Higgins. What may be less of a silver lining and more of a blueprint was the tying 19-play, 83-yard touchdown drive that consumed 8:54 of the fourth quarter.
"We're going to have a lot of drives like that the way defenses are playing us. We have to bank that one and remember how that feels," Burrow said.
_After Burrow finished 24 of 36 for 199 yards with just a touchdown on barely six yards per pass, he offered, "We're going to have to play a different way this year. We need to figure it out quickly to get into the win column."
_A huge play came quickly on defense when Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush converted a fourth-and-two on the first series of the game with a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Noah Brown. It set up Dallas' first touchdown.
"We got caught," said left end Sam Hubbard. "We have to be better in substitutions there. We weren't expecting them to go for it and more teams are doing that."
_Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was livid the Cowboys didn't get a re-kick when their punt hit the world's largest scoreboard in the second half. The Bengals' Trent Taylor, who had a 20-yard return earlier, didn't get chance to return it and it died at the Bengals 21.
The rule says the kick must be done over if hits the board. Everyone but the refs saw it hit the scoreboard. ,
"With my own eyes, the ball hit the scoreboard, but not on the replay," Taylor said. "I guess. It was a big point of the game, where a punt's just dead for no reason. For a reason that we all saw, and we were lining up for a punt again. They just got a downed punt, no return. That part was really frustrating. [The officials] reviewed it and said it didn't hit…just watch the game."
That's how it went. While the Bengals didn't get a chance to return one, Dallas did on the last series of the game when Kevin Huber got off a good punt, but he was in his end zone and the Cowboys were able to return it for 14 valuable yards.
_Bengals right tackle La'el Collins said it meant a lot to be named a captain for Sunday's game, but he was obviously disappointed Burrow has been hit as many times as he has in the first two games. He knows after Sunday's game against the Jets in New York they have four days to get ready for a home game against the Dolphins.
"We don't want our quarterback getting hit, getting sacked. None of that," Collins said. "But, end of the day, we've got to put this behind us. We have two games in 10 days, so we've got to get ready for it."
_The two biggest stats of the young season? Stats allowed and sacks generated. They have just two sacks this season, from Hubbard and tackle B.J. Hill. Right edge Trey Hendrickson, who had 31 sacks in 2020 and 2021, including playoffs, is looking for his first one this year. The last time he went sackless in back-to-back games was the last two games of 2019. Then he had a sack in the Saints playoff game.
_Taylor was looking at a fourth-and-six from the Dallas 42 with 5:31 left in the first half. He opted to punt instead of try a 60-yarder (Evan McPherson hit a 59-yarder last week) or have Burrow go for it.
"It's a 59-yarder, 60-yarder. We've got a great kicker, trust me. At some point, you've just got to make smart decisions," Taylor said. "We know our defense has got to settle down. So there were about six minutes left in the second quarter, so you're hoping that that's going to lead to points. You're able to pin them down there inside the ten, which I think we got them right on the ten.
"Get the ball back, two minute drill with good field position to be able to punch it in. So it's just having faith in your defense, faith in your punt coverage team. Defense gets a stop and the offense has an opportunity to go into halftime with a score and they get the ball back to start the second half. I understand, ball on the 42. Be aggressive there. Again, we were just thinking we were going to just get one more possession and points and get the ball to start the second half."