10. Just when you think the Dallas Cowboys figured it out, they totally forget it. DeMarco Murray is the record-setting, leading rusher in the NFL. Tonight, he carried 19 times for 141 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per carry. Yet at the game’s most important moments, the Cowboys inexplicably ignored him. After a 51-yard run and a 3-yard run by Murray, Dallas faced 2nd-and-goal from the 3 midway through the third quarter. Handoff, what handoff? Instead, Brandon Weeden threw consecutive incompletions and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal. And on the possession in overtime, Murray began with an 8-yard run. But then on 2nd-and-2? Three consecutive passes. What. The. What?!
9. The Cowboys lost a game, which is nauseating. But they dodged the fatal bullet of a season-ending injury to Tony Romo, which is a relief.
8. I’ll be honest, I had no idea who Bashaud Breeland was before Monday night. But I do now. The rookie 4th-round draft pick from Clemson played like a shut-down corner, winning most of the one-on-one battles with Dez Bryant. Color me impressed.
7. Only thing worse than the Cowboys was referee Tony Corrente. He left his mic on. His misidentified players. He blew calls. He stammered. And in overtime instead of “flipping” the coin he merely dropped it, enraging Cowboys’ captain Jason Witten and giving the ball to Washington.
6. If it was me, Romo would not have returned to play in that game. Too much to lose (season- or possibly career-ending injury) and not enough to gain (one win in a 16-game season). Having him in there at the end just felt short-sighted, even desperate.
5. He wasn’t in for long, but with his touchdown pass to Witten quarterback Brandon Weeden at least muted the Johnny Manziel fans before they even started.
4. Admit it, the Cowboys were out-played and out-coached. Despite what Jason Garrett wants you to believe, the Cowboys were blind-sided by the Redskins’ all-out blitzing. And give credit to the Redskins’ Brandon Mariweather for solving Romo’s previously undefeated spin-to-the-right escape.
3. Amazing play by Bryant on his touchdown. Nine out of 10 receivers don’t make that catch, which was akin to snaring the tip of a shin-high knuckleball with one hand. And 99.99 percent don’t go ahead and drag a tackler into the end zone for a score. He’s made more acrobatic catches. But he’s never scored a more impressive touchdown.
2. Murray is on the verge of being a great player. But fighting for an extra yard inside the Redskins’ 10 after a 39-yard gain smacks of a dumb player. As Emmitt Smith tweeted after the play, “Know when the journey is over.” It was a game-changing play that breathed hope into a Redskins’ team that needed tons of breaks to win this football game.
1. Regardless of Romo’s injury and the litany of offensive mistakes, the sad story of this game was the Cowboys’ inept defense. Zero pass rush and countless missed tackles made a Hall of Famer out of Colt McCoy. Colt Friggin’ McCoy. Consecutive 80-yard scoring drives in the third quarter and the crappy quarterback – rejected by the Cleveland Browns – completed 25 of 30 for 299 yards. That’s hardly the stuff of an elite defensive team.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.