Cowboys, Romo Pull out Win in Washington
Okay, okay, I’ll be the first to admit that Tony Romo played a pretty good game Sunday, especially in clutch time. It goes to prove my point and everyone else’s, that it really doesn’t matter what kind of numbers you put up throughout a game, it’s all about winning and coming through when the game is on the line.
Somehow the Cowboys were in a dog fight with a very poor 3-11 Washington team, which was riding a 6-game losing streak. But in the fourth quarter, on one bad wheel mind you, Romo got the Cowboys two late scores and a 24-23 win in Washington. The victory means it will all be on the line next Sunday when the Eagles come to town for the final game of the regular season…just like it seems to be every year. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan also gets some props for not abandoning the run like he did a week ago. The irony isn’t lost on anyone, he kept running when the Cowboys were trailing late in the game to the Redskins, but stopped running when they led the Packers last week. See, you can teach an old coach new tricks.
DeMarco Murray ran the ball 22 times for 96 yards, but more importantly, the Cowboys are now 11-0 when Murray carries the ball 20 or more times a game. Hell, I could call the next game for Dallas. Murray gets a least 20 carries, whatever the score is, and I’ll roll the dice with those kind of odds. How Dallas got the win was amazing considering the yo-yo that is their offense.
Getting the ball with just over 2 minutes to play and trailing by 6, Romo moved the Cowboys down the field thanks mostly to one BIG play. Romo scrambled just enough during the game to give himself an extra three seconds and his receivers enough time to make another move. With just over three minutes, on his own 28 yard line, Romo scrambled and found Terrance Williams all alone for a 51 yard completion down to the Skins 21 yard line. On the next play Romo connected with Dez Bryant for a 17 yard gain down to the 4. Two big plays by Romo and the offense. Problem was there was still more than two minutes to play. No problem, the Cowboys lack of creative thinking and poor blocking meant that three straight Murray runs put the Cowboys back on the Redskins 10 yard line. Facing a dismal fourth and goal at the 10…basically the season hanging on the line, Romo scrambled again and found Murray alone at the five and he bulled his way in for the winning touchdown.
Beating a 3-win team in the final seconds may seem desperate to some, but to the Cowboys, after all they’ve been through, it must have felt like the greatest accomplishment since they passed their SAT’s. The fact that the defense held Washington’s offense to four plays in the final minute to seal the win, was almost inconsequential but certainly not a small task for that group.
All of this sets up the showdown at AT&T Stadium next Sunday. Most observers don’t think the Cowboys will do anything if they beat Philadelphia and make the playoffs, but just qualifying for the post-season will be something that will A) keep Jason Garrett’s job B) be a sense of pride for this beleaguered team and C) make Jerry Jones continue to believe that he knows what he’s doing. Maybe we should all pull for an Eagles blow-out next week.