Suddenly, they are America's (Heart-break) Team.
The Cowboys have lost 23 games under head coach Jason Garrett. More than half of those – 14 – have been by a field goal or less, in overtime, or been decided in the game’s final minute.
You think we’d be numb to soul-scorching losses like last Sunday in Detroit, where the Cowboys blew two 10-point leads in the fourth quarter, committed a suicidal penalty in the final 90 seconds and allowed an 80-yard scoring drive to lose, 31-30. But nope, it still stings. And the cumulative effect has fans again convinced this team is nothing more than a mediocre outfit that will tease us with enticing foreplay but yank the covers back and fall out of bed before the satisfying climax to a playoff season.
The loss to the Lions wasn’t the worst loss in the Garrett Era. Only the latest.
10. 10.2.11 Lions 34, at Cowboys 30 – Dallas blows a 27-3 lead as Tony Romo throws 2 3rd-quarter interceptions for touchdowns and Calvin Johnson catches a clinching touchdown with 1:39 remaining.
9. 12.25.10 at Cardinals 27, Cowboys 26 – After Dallas produces a Christmas comeback from 18 down to take a 2-point lead on a late Miles Austin touchdown, David Buehler misses the extra point. The Cardinals convert a 4th-and-15 and then celebrate when Jay Feely’s 49-yard field goal crawls over the crossbar on the game’s final play.
8. 12.11.11 Giants 37, at Cowboys 34 – Dallas leads 34-22 with 5:41 remaining, but gives up 2 late TDs and loses when Dan Bailey’s 47-yard game-tying field goal is blocked on the game’s final play.
7. 10.16.11 at Patriots 20, Cowboys 16 – After settling for field goals on 2 drives inside New England’s 10 in the 4th quarter, Dallas watches Tom Brady cap an 80-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left.
6. 9.11.11 at Jets 27, Cowboys 24 – Dallas leads by 14 in the 4th quarter but coughs up a blocked punt for a touchdown, a Romo fumble inside New York’s 10 and eventually loses on former teammate Nick Folk’s 50-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining.
5. 10.14.12 at Ravens 31, Cowboys 29 – After dominating the game and recovering an onside kick for late life, Dallas loses when it inexplicably allows 16 seconds to run off clock after a pass play and then watches Bailey float a game-winning 51-yard field goal wide left. It’s the first loss in franchise history when the Cowboys run the ball 42+ times (89-1).
4. 11.25.10 Saints 30, at Cowboys 27 – Leading by 4 points in the final 2 minutes on Thanksgiving receiver Roy Williams fumbles at New Orleans’ 11 after a long catch-and-run, setting up a Saints’ late touchdown that holds up when kicker David Buehler’s game-tying 53-yard field goal sails wide left.
3. 10.6.13 Broncos 51, Cowboys 48 – Romo throws for 506 yards, but his interception near the 2-minute warning helps the Broncos score the game’s final 10 points and win on a last-second field goal.
2. 10.27.13 Lions 31, Cowboys 30 – Two 10-point leads in the 4th quarter wasted as Tyron Smith commits a holding penalty that saves 40 seconds for the Lions, setting up a game-winning, gut-wrenching 80-yard scoring drive with :12 remaining.
1. 12.4.11 at Cardinals 19, Cowboys 13 – Dan Bailey makes an apparent game-winning field goal from 49 yards, only to find out the Cowboys called a timeout because coach Jason Garrett wanted to ensure a “smooth operation” on the kick. The next attempt dies left and short to force overtime, in which Arizona’s LaRod Stephens-Howling takes a screen pass to the house from 52 yards.
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.