In a game that looked like America’s Team was going to pull out a last second win, the game became a nightmare for up and coming QB Tony Romo and the Cowboys as Seattle escaped a game they should not have won 21-20. Then again, the ending, which was marred by mistakes and unreal plays by the Cowboys, marks a fitting end to a season that had more ups and downs for Dallas than your local amusement park.
The death blow for Dallas came when QB Tony Romo failed to handle a good snap from center on what would have been basically an extra point field goal attempt that would have put Dallas up 23-21 with 1:19 left. Sure Seattle might have been able to get down the field and try a long-shot of their own with kicker Josh Brown to try and win it 24-23, but it never even came to that. For Dallas, it was a disturbing way to end a season that at one point looked Miami bound.
“It was just one of those things,” Parcells said. “It looked like a good snap. I can’t tell you what happened after that. We’re an extra point from being down to the eight teams left. That’s what’s the hardest thing.” Of course turnovers could also be one of the harder things to get over for Dallas as they enter the offseason. They led 20-13 in the 4th quarter and had just held the Hawks, only to give up a safety when Terry Glenn caught a pass in the flat, then fumbled it in the end zone to make it 20-15. The Hawks then made it 21-20 when Matt Hassleback threw a 37-yard TD to TE Jeremy Stevens on the following drive.
All that basically would not have mattered if Romo does what he has done about 1,000 times and make the quick set down on the field goal attempt to give Dallas a lead with just over a minute left. It was not to be. “I know how hard everyone in that locker room worked to get themselves in position to win that game today and for it to end like that, and for me to be the cause is very tough to swallow right now,” Romo said. “I take responsibility for messing up at the end there. That’s my fault. I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win, and it’s going to sit with me a long time.”
And just like that, Seattle moves on to likely Chicago, while the Tuna and the Cowboys continue to haul their luggage of heartache and excuses around with them for another offseason. For the first time in a long time, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said something totally profound and correct after the tough loss. “I feel empty.” You and every other Cowboy fan today Jerry.