STILLWATER — Brandon Weeden used words like stupid and dumb.
Todd Monken went with catastrophic.
Listen to the Cowboys talk Saturday night, and you'd have thought they'd lost their opener. Hear the frustration in their voices, and you'd have thought they had a terrible day instead of one of the best performances in school history.
But on a night that Oklahoma State defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 61-34, it was evident that the Cowboys need to be better.
More precisely — and somewhat shockingly — Weeden needs to be better.
So good a season ago, the Cowboy quarterback threw three interceptions for just the second time in his career. The only other time came against Oklahoma. You can understand three picks against the Sooners, a powerhouse program. But against the Ragin' Cajuns?
“You can't turn it over three times,” said Monken, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator. “You can't throw two touchdowns on interceptions. You can't do that.”
Yep, to make matters worse, two of those interceptions were returned for scores.
“Unfortunately,” Monken said, “that's what clouds my mind right now.”
He's not the only one.
“Up and down, that's probably the best way to describe it,” Weeden said of his performance on a day that he threw for 388 yards and the Cowboys had 666 yards of offense, the ninth-highest in school history. “I did some good things, threw some good balls. Obviously, the third interception was stupid.”
Weeden credited Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley with a great play on the first interception, a pick that went for a touchdown. Bentley got him again on the second interception on a play when Weeden never even saw him.
Bentley, by the way, is a senior who'll probably get a shot at playing in the NFL.
The Cowboys knew how good he was.
“The sad part is, we're like, ‘OK, we're not going to throw his way and let him change the game,'” Monken said, “and damn it if we didn't throw a couple times over there and he picked off a couple passes.”
Those two interceptions were frustrating to Weeden, but they didn't miff him the way his third interception did.
He was angry at himself.
“That was just dumb,” he said. “That was one of those ones you want to just have a string on the ball so you can pull it back so you can tuck it up and take a sack. I hate taking sacks, but I'd rather take a sack than doing something stupid.”