A night of some perhaps.
It was perhaps a matter of time before the Tony Romo’s surgically repaired back would give out and cause him to miss playing time.
That occurred with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against the Washington Redskins. Romo was in obvious pain and went to the locker room for most of the second half.
He returned, but he was unable to lead Dallas to an overtime win. Washington kicked a field goal and then stopped Dallas on its only overtime possession to pull out the 20-17 win. The loss dropped the Cowboys to 6-2.
Perhaps it was a matter of time before DeMarco Murray’s fumbles became especially costly.
He had a great catch-and-run early in the second quarter, but after gaining 36 yards inside the Washington 10, he fumbled for the fifth time this season. At the time, Dallas trailed 3-0 and looked like it would take the lead.
Although the Cowboys went into the half with a 7-3 lead, a touchdown after the Murray play could have allowed the Cowboys build a more sizable advantage before halftime.
Instead, the Cowboys four-point lead turned into a three-point deficit when Washington took the second-half kickoff and marched 80 yards for a go-ahead score.
Which leads us to the final perhaps—
Perhaps it was time that this no-name defense could not save the day.
With Romo heading to the locker room, the defense forced a three-and-out. However, after the Cowboys tied the game at 10 in the third quarter, the defense looked vulnerable.
DeSean Jackson burned the Dallas secondary for a 45-yard gain on the final play of the third quarter. It was his second gain of more than 40 yards during the game, and the second play set up a touchdown run by quarterback Colt McCoy.
Yes, that Colt McCoy. The former Texas Longhorn, Cleveland Brown, and Redskin third-stringer sliced up the Dallas defense for nearly 300 passing yards. Washington entered the game with one of the worst third-down percentages in the league. Against the Cowboys late in the game, however, the Redskins converted a number of key third downs.
Thanks to backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, the Cowboys stayed in the game in the fourth quarter. He led the Cowboys on two second-half scoring drives. Dallas forced a Washington punt at the two-minute warning with the game tied at 17.
A bonus perhaps—it was perhaps through the miracle of modern medicine that Tony Romo left the locker room and reentered the game to try to engineer a game-winning drive.
Whether Romo should have returned will be a point of debate all week. At that point, Weeden had led the Cowboys on two scoring drives. Romo was obviously not going to be mobile in his condition.
Facing heavy pressure with just over a minute to play, Romo fumbled the ball at the Dallas 5. Though Murray recovered and Dallas managed a first down to keep the drive alive, the Cowboys could not move the ball past their own 28. In fact, on 3rd and 1 from the 28, Romo was called for intentional grounding, forcing the Cowboys to punt.
The Redskins had little trouble moving the ball 58 yards in overtime to set up what would be the game-winning field goal.
Dallas could not manage a single first down on its drive, ending the game.
The Cowboys still lead the NFC East by a half-game, but a win would have given Dallas some breathing room. The Cowboys now have a short week before facing the Arizona Cardinals at home on Sunday afternoon.