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The Dallas Cowboys will hire Sanjay Lal as wide-receivers coach, according to multiple sources.

Lal interviewed with the Cowboys last week, but he had drawn interest from the Oakland Raiders and had a chance to remain with the Indianapolis Colts.

Lal, 48, was with the Colts for just one season after a two-year run with the Buffalo Bills and three years with the New York Jets. He broke into the NFL in 2007 with the Raiders and became their receivers coach in 2009.

Lal will replace Derek Dooley, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Missouri. Dooley had coached Dallas’ wide receivers since 2013. Former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, who has worked in the scouting department the past two seasons, also interviewed for the position.

Lal will inherit a group that could look a lot different by the time the 2018 season begins. Dez Bryant is under contract for two more years, but the Cowboys could look for Bryant to take a pay cut or risk getting released. Terrance Williams signed a four-year deal with the team last year and his base salary is guaranteed. Cole Beasley is entering the final year of his contract, while Brice Butler will be a free agent. The Cowboys also had Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown on the 53-man roster at the end of the season.

The Colts had quarterback issues for most of the season, but lead receiver T.Y. Hilton had 966 yards and averaged 16.9 yards per catch with four touchdowns. In Buffalo, Lal oversaw the development of Sammy Watkins, who had more than 1,000 yards in 2015.

Lal becomes the second new coach to join Jason Garrett’s staff, with offensive-line coach Paul Alexander coming on board Monday. A source said running-backs coach Gary Brown is expected to return to the Cowboys, but the team has openings at tight ends, special teams, linebackers, secondary and quarterbacks coaches.

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With roughly 1,000 snaps on both sides of the ball, seasons can turn on a handful of plays.

That was certainly the case for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017. The fall from their 13-3 finish in 2016 to their 9-7 record this season seems precipitous, but in reality they are not that disparate.

Lost amid the 13-3 finish were the plays that tipped the season in their favor, like the overtime win against the Philadelphia Eagles or the late-game fumble recovery at the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys made the necessary plays — big and small — to win those games.

In 2017, they didn’t — and as a result have to watch the playoffs go on without them.

Four of the Cowboys’ seven losses in 2017 were by 20 or more points. But even in those games there were moments in which the results could have flipped.

In the 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 2, DeMarcus Lawrence was penalized for leverage on a field goal attempt. The Broncos turned that penalty into a touchdown and 14-7 lead in the second quarter. Perhaps if there is no penalty, the Cowboys rally from that moment.

In the 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Cowboys moved down the field on their opening drive of the second half mostly on the legs of Alfred Morris. After an 11-yard run to the Atlanta 12-yard line, the Cowboys went into shotgun on first-and-10 and Dak Prescott was sacked for a 7-yard loss by Adrian Clayborn. The next play lost 2 yards. The third-down play gained just 1 yard and Mike Nugent’s 38-yard field goal attempt hit the upright. Had the Cowboys stood by their powerful run game, knowing fill-in left tackle Chaz Green could not block Clayborn, maybe they grab a touchdown in that situation and make the score 17-14.

In those defeats, however, the Cowboys were listless and not competitive for large portions of the games.

But what about the three losses by less than 10 points?

Three plays stand out:

Los Angeles Rams

The Cowboys offense was rolling. They opened with a field goal and two touchdowns on their first three drives for a 17-6 lead, at which point they had nearly 200 yards of offense. The defense forced a Rams punt and the Cowboys could have taken the game by the throat with another score on their fourth drive of the game.

Instead, Ryan Switzer fumbled the punt and the Rams took over at the Dallas 18. The Rams scored a touchdown five plays later. The momentum had swung. The Cowboys led 24-16 at the half, but they never had the same control of the game. The Rams scored on seven of their last nine possessions in a 35-30 win.

Green Bay Packers

Trailing 28-24 late in the fourth quarter, Prescott put the Cowboys in position to win late against the Packers, just like he did in the divisional round of the playoffs last January. The Cowboys needed a replay review to convert a fourth-and-1 run for a first down by Ezekiel Elliott to the Packers’ 19, but Elliott then picked up 8 yards on first down.

The Cowboys had the Packers on their heels. Although they needed a touchdown, they also knew they could not leave Aaron Rodgers much time on the clock. On second-and-2, Prescott threw a fade to Dez Bryant in the end zone that fell incomplete. Instead of running the ball and chewing up more time, only six seconds ran off the clock. On the next play, Prescott used the zone-read to fool the Green Bay defense for a go-ahead touchdown. As great as that was, Rodgers still had 1:13 to pull off the comeback, which he did, throwing a touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining for a 35-31 win.

If the Cowboys had run the ball on second down, maybe they score there and the point is moot. But they threw it, and the worst-case scenario turned true.

Seattle Seahawks

Needing a win to remain alive in the playoffs, the Cowboys held a 6-0 lead in the second quarter against Seattle, which also needed a win to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Cowboys defense was badly flustering quarterback Russell Wilson, with Lawrence picking up a sack of 22 yards that forced a Seahawks punt from their own 8.

The Cowboys should have had terrific field position following the punt, but Kyle Wilber was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the return. Instead of having the ball at the Dallas 45, the Cowboys had it at their 35.

On first down, Bryant, who was brooding because of a lack of action his way early in the game, caught a 7-yard hitch from Prescott, but Byron Maxwell punched the ball free and K.J. Wright recovered. Five plays later, the Seahawks scored a touchdown for a 7-6 lead despite being thoroughly outplayed.

Prescott was intercepted twice in the second half, including one that was returned for a touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter, but the Bryant fumble started the downward trend in the Cowboys’ 21-12 loss.

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Here’s a look at the first-half impact of the Dallas Cowboys’ draft class:

Taco Charlton, DE, first round: He finally picked up his first sack of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs and he hopes that opens the dam in the second half. The Cowboys have been able to rush the passer effectively without him making much of an impact, but they need more. The Cowboys will give him snaps as the season progresses to show what he can do. Grade: Below average

Chidobe Awuzie, DB, second round: A hamstring strain has limited his effectiveness for most of the season. After a strong summer, the Cowboys wanted to use him in their subpackages, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He could become a full-time safety when he gets back on the field. Grade: Incomplete

Jourdan Lewis, CB, third round: Lewis was not able to practice much in the summer due to a hamstring injury, but he showed quickly that he was not afraid of the big stage. He played so well that the Cowboys decided to part ways with veteran Nolan Carroll. Lewis has natural ball skills and has one of the Cowboys’ three interceptions on the season. He could become a starter in the base defense soon. Grade: Above average

Ryan Switzer, WR, fourth round: He was drafted because of his return ability, but Switzer’s decision-making has been spotty at times. He has also yet to break a big return in either the punt or kickoff game. Switzer was always going to be limited in his role offensively, due to the receiving targets ahead of him on the depth chart. The Cowboys need him to have a greater influence on field position. Grade: Average

Xavier Woods, S, sixth round: In the past few weeks, he has moved into the subpackages and been part of a rotation of safeties. The Cowboys believe he has the skills to make plays on the ball and has really good awareness. Woods needs to shore up his tackling to earn more trust from the coaches, but he can see plays develop quickly. Grade: Average

Marquez White, CB, sixth round: White showed flashes in the summer and in preseason, but he was among the Cowboys’ final roster cuts. He has spent the regular season on the practice squad. Unless there are injuries, he will likely spend the entire season on the practice squad, with an eye to a bigger role in 2018. Grade: Incomplete

Noah Brown, WR, seventh round: He has done a nice job mostly in a blocking role offensively. Brown is a big body and is willing to take on defenders, if necessary. He made one of the key blocks on an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown catch. Brown needs to improve his technique as a receiver, but he has raw skills worth developing. Grade: Average