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Good, Bad and Ugly of the Cowboys Loss

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Should a day come in 20 years when you feel the need to explain to people what the Tony Romo era was like, all you'll need to do is flip on the hologram generator in your solarium (while wearing a jet pack) and call up Sunday's 29-24 loss to the Giants. 

Every part of the game could stand in for every moment of Romo's run as starter and the title of this post is a pretty good title for any summation of those years. There were staggeringly good moments when Romo's ability allowed him to make plays in moments where others would have failed matched with staggeringly bad moments that made you wonder what Romo was doing on the field. And then there was the agonizing ending that has become the hallmark of this period of Cowboys history. 

There were moments on Sunday when you were sure you were watching the greatest game of Romo's career and moments when you were sure it was the worse. The screen pass interception by Jason Pierre-Paul for a touchdown dances alongside the flip touchdown to John Phillips with the painful glimpse of glory provided by Dez Bryant taking over before the screen fades to black. 

How can all of that come in one game? From one man? How did they lose? How were they so close in the first place?

These are not new questions and we do not have any answers. We just sit and watch and wonder how the life of one quarterback could overflow with so much drama, tragedy, excitement and exasperation. 

It has been many things, but there's just something about linking a Cowboy with the words good, bad and ugly that makes perfect sense. Romo was all three of them on Sunday. Here's the rest. 

GOOD: Jason Witten would seem to be back. He looked just as good as ever while catching 18 passes and moving the ball down the field efficiently enough for the Cowboys to recover from a 23-0 deficit. 

BAD: Witten basically took over for the running game because there was nothing doing on the ground this week. Felix Jones made matters even worse by carrying the ball carelessly and fumbling after running into one of his own blockers. 

GOOD, BAD and UGLY: Every one of the six turnovers was ghastly, but Dez Bryant's muffed punt was a particularly galling moment. He also caught five passes for 110 yards. He dropped a pass. He was a fingernail short of making one of the greatest game-winning catches you'll ever see. It was just another day at the office for the human drama that is Dez Bryant. 

BAD: Dan Connor's status isn't clear, but the team certainly doesn't need an injury to the guy replacing Sean Lee. The defense did really good work digging out from the offense's mistakes, but it will be tough to swallow another injury.  

BAD: There were plenty of other things to grab the attention, but the Cowboys play calling on their next-to-last possession was odd. With second-and-one at the Giants' 21 with 80 seconds left, the Cowboys chose three straight passing plays. With all three timeouts, it would have been worth it to try for the first down and milk the clock while also closing in on the end zone.

With all the ups and downs of Romo, it's hard to notice that it is the little things that matter sometimes.  

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