Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys rallied late to beat the Washington Redskins away from home, keeping their playoff hopes alive and well. There’s something we don’t normally say of the Cowboys.
Let’s be clear about this. Tony Romo and the Cowboys weren’t perfect against the Redskins. In fact, it was one of the ugliest victories we’ve seen all season. Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins led by a score of 23-14. At that point, we wondered if the Cowboys’ playoff hopes would really end in Washington.
Then, after three quarters of subpar play, the Cowboys woke up and fought back. The rally started with just over six minutes to go in the game with a field goal, pulling the Cowboys within six points. Then, with just over a minute to go, Tony Romo played above himself in a clutch moment, securing the Cowboys’ win with a touchdown drive.
Now, the Cowboys will head home to host a winner take all showdown with their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. The winner of that game will be in, and the loser will be headed home.
The Cowboys have found themselves in this position before too. Last year, the Redskins beat out the Cowboys in week 17 to win their way into the playoffs, and two seasons ago, the Giants pulled the same feat, also in the final week of the season. It’s moments like this that define a team’s legacy, and for Tony Romo, a win next week would go a long way towards reversing his current reputation as a late season collapse factory.
Still, a clutch win in December that sets up another do or die moment for the Cowboys won’t overturn their current reputation. For a regime that could be dismissed should Dallas miss the postseason, there’s no bigger moment. If Tony Romo and company are unable to get the job done in the final week of the season for the third straight season, we’ll have to seriously wonder what direction owner Jerry Jones will take in the offseason. If, however, the Cowboys are able to play their way into the tournament, brighter times may be in the Cowboys’ future.