Bledsoe goes south

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

What is it about the late season that makes quarterback Drew Bledsoe swoon like a spiral gone wobbly?

Just as he did with the Buffalo Bills at times a year ago, the 13-year veteran is struggling at the most crucial point of the season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Bledsoe, who was on pace to set a team record for passing yards earlier this fall, has thrown for less than 200 yards in three of the past four Cowboys games.

During that stretch he has had five interceptions and three lost fumbles, a big reason for back-to-back losses that have damaged the 'Boys playoff chances. He seemingly hit bottom last week in a 17-10 defeat to the Giants when he completed just 15 of 39 passes for 146 yards.

Not that Bills fans should be crowing too loudly, but the struggles are reminiscent of what Bledsoe went through while in Buffalo. In the end, general manager Tom Donahoe decided to cut ties with the would-be hero, releasing him in the off-season to herald the dubious beginning of the J.P. Losman era.

In hanging on to the ball too long, Bledsoe has been forced into making costly mistakes. Troubles have been compounded by an offensive line that protected him early in the season but can't seem to give him the time of day.

"You want to be successful on every play, but there comes a point when a play has reached its potential and you either chuck it out of bounds or take the sack and not turn it over," Bledsoe said, recognizing the error of his ways.

"It's a battle I have fought my entire career. That is my challenge."

With little room for error to stay in the NFC playoff race, the Cowboys need to right themselves tomorrow against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Unlike the Bills, who couldn't distance themselves quickly enough from Bledsoe when he struggled, the Cowboys seem committed to sticking with the former New England Patriot.

"Drew doesn't have the ability to buy extra time or create extra time, but we know that," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

"When we have seen Bledsoe struggle, when I have had concerns about his decision making, it has had everything to do with pressure."

Dallas coach Bill Parcells, a Bledsoe backer since his days in New England, is singing the same Cowboy tune.

"All quarterbacks need the same thing," Parcells said. "They need the time or the separation from receivers. Assign the blame to who you chose to."

BIZARRE BILLS

As if things couldn't get any stranger in Buffalo in the aftermath of last Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, it was a wacky week at One Bills Drive.

The biggest headlines were reserved for the one-game suspension of Eric Moulds, one of the classiest and longest-serving Bills, who was seemingly hung out to dry by coach Mike Mularkey.

Then there is Donahoe, who according to reports, is on the way out of town following this season.

So touchy is Donahoe on the subject that he lashed out at a caller to his weekly radio show.

After being asked what was admittedly a goofball question -- would Donahoe consider resigning -- he showed his touchiness.

"We really do not encourage those kinds of calls on this show," Donahoe said. "There's certainly other radio stations in this town that you can call if you want to act like a jerk."

As you can guessed, those "other stations" -- namely all sports WGR -- had a field day with that line.


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