With Thursday's loss, the reality of another disappointing season returned to the Dolphins' practice facility.
And the frustration surfaced Friday when Sparano became irritated after being asked whether in light of yet another loss it would be difficult to fire up his team for next week's game against Oakland.
"You guys ask me that question after every single game," he said in an irritated tone. "I mean you ask me the same question. And then you eventually end up answering it yourselves. It's not going to be difficult."
Miami scored no touchdowns in four trips to the red zone against Dallas, newly signed kicker Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field goal, and quarterback Matt Moore fumbled a snap right before halftime, Dallas recovered, scored a touchdown, and took a pivotal 10-3 lead into the locker room. The Cowboys won the game when kicker Dan Bailey hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired.
Such painful losses have become familiar under Sparano, who seems headed toward a third consecutive losing season.
"At the end of it we still had a chance to win the football game," he said. "And at the end we weren't able to do it. We didn't make enough plays."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.