10. Fourth quarter. Down by 1. 4th-and-1 around midfield. You’re armed with a motivated running back (DeMarco Murray) and a Pro Bowl left tackle (Tyron Smith). Call me crazy, but I’d have handed off and taken my chances. But the Cowboys? Got too cute and had their immobile, backup quarterback roll out for an attempted pass to Murray that was swatted down. Us old-timers were reminded of “No, Danny, No!” against the Redskins in ’83.
9. Murray came out inspired, running hard from the start. He had a highlight-film hit when he trucked and de-cleated Eagles’ 293-pound defensive tackle Damion Square. But he also authored one of the game’s biggest play: A fumble. The Cowboys just aren’t good enough to overcome a turnover at Philly’s 23 on their opening possession.
8. As good and as inspired as the Cowboys’ defense played and as decent as Kyle Orton was, two of the offensive playmakers – Murray and Jason Witten – coughed up critical turnovers.
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7. Something I thought I’d never write in this or any other season: Orton to Escobar, touchdown.
6. Fresh off major back surgery on Friday, Tony Romo obviously wasn’t at the game. But Candice – Mrs. Romo – was in AT&T Stadium. Weird, right? And, no, I cannot confirm that Romo threw his remote control at the TV and had it intercepted by son, Hawkins.
5. Confirmed, Jeff Heath just isn’t ready to play safety in the NFL. As soon as he was benched in favor of J.J. Wilcox the Cowboys started getting stops.
4. Props to Monte Kiffin and his defense. The Cowboys got consistent pressure on Nick Foles and held the Eagles to 27 points in two games.
3. Worst part about tonight? You get the feeling if the Cowboys played with as much emotion all season they’d have clinched the NFC East two weeks ago.
2. Cumulative score of the Cowboys’ last five season-ending losses: 161-63. That’s what you call going out with a thud. And, for what it’s worth, the Cowboys are now 2-12 in Week 17 since 2000. Once upon a time the Cowboys lost three consecutive NFC Championship Games. Now they’ve lost three consecutive NFC East Championship Games.
1. In the end, Orton with an eerily spot-on impersonation of Romo. Down 2. 4th quarter. 1:49 remaining. 50 yards from field-goal range. Miles Austin open on the slant. Pass thrown badly behind him for a season-ending interception. Seems an appropriate time to say thanks for reading Blue Star Blog all season. And to remind that Kyle Orton was once cut for Tim Tebow.
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.