The Dallas Cowboys went into Sunday’s late afternoon game against the Green Bay Packers with much to prove. Far too fresh in the minds of Cowboys Nation was the previous week’s beating at the hands of the Chicago Bears 45 to 28 in a game where the Bears did not have to punt the ball once, because they scored on every drive except the last kneel-down to run out the clock.
One could deduce that the Cowboys wanted to prove to the naysayers that the offensive inconsistencies and Swiss cheese defense was a fluke.
For the first two quarters of Sunday’s game, the Cowboys play reflected a team destined to rebound. The Dallas offense rattled off a franchise record 332 yards in the first half and a stout Cowboys defense held one of the season’s highest ranked offenses to a singled field goal.
The tale of two halves could not be more contrast, however, as Dallas blew the 23 point lead allowing the Green Bay Packers to come from behind in historic fashion and win 37 to 36.
When reviewing the tape, it’s possible to point out many reasons why the Packers won the game, but Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo’s interception to Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields, in my opinion, was the defining moment of the loss.
The Cowboys led the Packers 36 to 31 with just 4:17 remaining in the 4th quarter. On third down, Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant made a 13 yard catch and run extending his full body to convert the first down on a magnificent play. After a Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray run up the middle for four yards, the Cowboys had a short six yards on second down with 2:58 remaining in the game.
All Dallas had to do at that point was dish the ball twice to DeMarco Murray who ran wild all over the Packers defense to the tune of 134 yards, and it’s game over. But, this Dallas team has proven time and time again this season that they cannot finish games.
Instead of running twice and killing the clock, Tony Romo threw an interception to Green Bay’s Shields who had good underneath coverage on wide receiver Miles Austin. To say it was a poor choice to throw the ball on second and six with less than 3 minutes to go in a game you are winning, does not quite underscore the stupidity of the play.