Cowboys Fans Were Holding Collective Breath | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Cowboys Fans Were Holding Collective Breath

Jason Garrett kept sending Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray out there

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 2: Head Coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys on the sidelines in the first quarter of a game against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 28-17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

    Jason Garrett, as it turns out, was dead serious about the whole "finish strong" thing and playing Sunday's regular-season finale in Washington D.C. just like it was any other football game, even though it wasn't.

    The Dallas Cowboys' head coach played quarterback Tony Romo and his fragile back until the final drive of the game when Brandon Weeden entered to kill the final few ticks off the clock. He did the same with DeMarco Murray and his surgically repaired hand until Joseph Randle hauled off and scampered 65 yards for a touchdown with 1:40 left.

    None of that came back to bite Garrett, thankfully, but it did do one thing. It sent the Cowboys into the postseason as arguably the hottest team in football and without a doubt the hottest offense in football as they averaged better than 40 points per game in four December wins.

    The Cowboys did see surprising rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens leave Sunday's game with a high ankle sprain, which is concerning heading into next Sunday's playoff opener against the Detroit Lions, but that stuff happens. It's hard to question Hitchens being in a basically meaningless game, even when the score is out of hand.

    It's another, much easier thing to question Romo and Murray being in the game in the fourth quarter when it's well in hand. Luckily, Garrett didn't have to answer those questions on Sunday afternoon because it didn't come back to bite him. If anything, it might have only made this team stronger.