Cowboys Opener: Lessons From Four Giant Losses

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The Clavicle – Oct. 25, 2010: Giants 41, Cowboys 35 – With the Cowboys leading in the second quarter, Giants linebacker Michael Boley came unblocked on a blitz and blew up Tony Romo, breaking his collarbone. The hit ended Romo’s 2010 season and, arguably, Wade Phillips’ tenure as Cowboys head coach.

Jan 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett prior to the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

The Cowboys were 1-4 at that point, but they were in every game, suffering one-score losses to the Redskins, Bears, Titans and Vikings. After Romo went down, the ‘Boys started getting blown out – 35-17 at home to Jacksonville and 45-7 in Green Bay, after which Phillips was gone before the team’s charter flight touched down in Dallas that same night.

Why it hurt: In a season of high expectations, with Dallas hosting the Superbowl, any practical playoff hopes were crushed before midseason when a hated division rival dropped the team to 1-5 and sent the franchise quarterback to IR.

Lesson: A healthy Romo is a difference maker; maybe he keeps the Cowboys competitive in 2010, and Wade keeps his job. Who knows? Boley’s hit may have helped to usher in the Jason Garrett era, which saved the franchise from a string of bad drafts and a country club culture of entitlement. So on Sunday night, if it looks like the worst thing you can think of happens, don’t panic. This is a fan blog, not a bandwagon blog – we’re in this thing for the long haul.

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