ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 06: Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a touchdown pass reception against Rahim Moore #26 of the Denver Broncos in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Franchises with five Super Bowls don’t normally stoop to moral victories. But there was nothing normal about the Cowboys’ 51-48 loss to the Broncos.
Yes, I’ll say it. That was – gulp – a "good" loss.
It didn’t end a season. It wasn’t a divisional defeat, or even a conference loss. And it should help the Cowboys to be a better team the rest of the season.
Record-breaking. Entertaining. Scintillating. But, admittedly, all spoiled by the overbearing odor of frustration.
It’s a game you’ll be telling your grandkids about. Why? Because Tony Romo set a franchise-record with 506 passing yards (He finished only 48 yards shy of Norm Van Brocklin’s NFL record). Because the 99 combined points were the most ever scored in a Cowboys’ game (It’s the 4th-highest scoring NFL game ever). Because it kept you on the edge of your seat (It’s the highest-rated NFL game of the season and the most-watched show on all of TV since The Oscars back in February). And because Peyton Manning produced the sweetest fake-handoff bootleg in the history of the NFL.
I think we’ve already seen the NFL’s Game of the Year. And I’m sure we witnessed one of the Cowboys’ Top 5 all-time best losses:
5. 11.21.65 Browns 24, Cowboys 17 – Dallas “holds” Jim Brown to 99 yards and out-gains the elite Browns, paving way for 7-7 season and helping plant foundation of successful years ahead.
4. 9.9.91 Redskins 33, Cowboys 31 – Just two seasons removed from 1-15 Emmitt, Aikman and Irvin show glimpse of potential as Cowboys hang with eventual Super Bowl champs on Monday Night Football.
3. 11.16.70 Cardinals 38, Cowboys 0 – Demoralizing loss at home on MNF forces Tom Landry to ditch alternating quarterbacks system and stick with Roger Staubach. Cowboys win 21 of their next 25, playing in two Super Bowls and winning their first.
2. 10.6.13 Broncos 51, Cowboys 48 – Tony Romo has record-setting day and Dallas learns it can play with NFL’s best team in the highest-scoring and one of the best games in franchise history.
1. 9.12.93 Bills 13, Cowboys 10 – Loss forces Jerry Jones’ hand to sign holdout running back Emmitt Smith. After 0-2 start, Cowboys go 15-2 and win Super Bowl XXVIII.
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 writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.