With a loss that’s so similar to so many of their other losses this season, the Dallas Cowboys are out of the playoffs, and can start thinking about what they’re going to do next year, which will mostly revolve around how long they have left with Tony Romo at starting quarterback.
The Cowboys lost 19-16 to the New York Jets, falling to 4-10, which means there is no way they can win their division anymore, as someone from the trio of the Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Redskins-New York Giants will have seven wins by the end of this weekend. They started with Matt Cassel who looked bad, and then went with Kellen Moore, who did throw one touchdown pass and showed some nice mobility, but he also threw three interceptions, including a desperate hail mary in the final seconds which landed in green arms.
The Cowboys, like in all of their close losses this season (or some of them), held the lead for a short while. Dez Bryant catching a touchdown pass off of Moore to finish the first half gave the Cowboys a 10-9 lead, which they extended in a barren third quarter, with just the Dan Bailey field goal to rely on. But the Jets finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter (another Fitzpatrick-Decker production) and all the Cowboys could do was tie the game.
And again, a final drive for the win from an opponent resulted in heartbreak. There was a big call that changed the game: the Fitzpatrick near fumble, which did get a first down and then resulted in a big throw to Kenbrell Thompkins to set up the game winning field goal, leaving the Cowboys with 36 seconds to try and save the game, the season. But this isn’t the kind of year in which miracles happen. The Cowboys have been so bad offensively without Romo, it made no sense they’d suddenly find some relief.
It was their sixth loss this season by a possession or less. It was their seventh loss this season in which they had the lead or were tied in the fourth quarter. Their defense, despite a suspect secondary, kept them in a lot of games, and even helped them win against the Redskins, which breathed new life into a team that had almost lost all hope. But now, the weekly tradition of believing in the impossible is over, making way for some forward and future thinking, and mostly crossing their fingers they don’t lose their quarterback again to go through another miserable year.