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The Bengals had their own version of the butt fumble vs. Cowboys

This was embarrassing and a big reason why Dallas came into Cincinnati and walked away with a blowout win.

NFL: SEP 30 Bengals at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Looking to score a feel-good win and end their losing skid, the Bengals were whipped by the Cowboys in Andy Dalton’s return to Cincinnati on Sunday.

30-7 would suggest Dallas dominated the game and were never in danger of losing. However, you wouldn’t think the margin would have been so bad looking at the box score.

The Bengals actually finished the game with more first downs (18 to 16), total yards (309 to 272), 3rd-down conversions (9/16 compared to 5/11 for Dallas), and won the time of possession battle by almost 10 minutes (34:41 to 25:19).

But the game would be lost with the turnover bug, as the Bengals had not one, not two, but three fumbles on their first three possessions that helped the Cowboys take a 17-0 lead.

While all three were costly, the one that hurt the most was also the most embarrassing of the bunch.

Following the Bengals’ first drive that ended with a Giovani Bernard fumble and subsequent field goal for Dallas, the Bengals looked poised to take the lead after driving to the red zone on the following possession. A big part of that was Trayveon Williams, who had 22 total yards on the drive.

But on 2nd-and-3 at the Dallas 20, Williams ran into a wall of offensive linemen before coughing up the ball, and Aldon Smith scooped up the ball and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown.

It turned out that Williams wasn’t even hit by a Cowboy on the fumble, but instead ran into the butt of Hakeem Adeniji and simply lost the ball, shades of Jets QB Mark Sanchez’s infamous butt fumble against the Patriots back on Thanksgiving of 2015.

Had Williams not fumbled there, the Bengals likely get at least a field goal to tie the game at 3-3. Instead, the Bengals went down 10-0 and never got any close than that.

If not for the three fumbles, this would have absolutely been a game the Bengals could have won.

Instead, it was the 24th time Cincinnati has lost under Zac Taylor since the start of the 2019 season. It was also the Cowboys’ biggest win since their 47-16 win over Washington in Week 17 of the 2019 season, as they entered the day with just three wins by a combined seven points.