IRVING, Texas -- The fine folks at Football Outsiders have put together its top-10 most disappointing playoff teams of the past 25 years and the 2007 Cowboys come in at No. 3.
The Cowboys finished 13-3 and had homefield advantage in the NFC only to lose, 21-17, to the New York Giants at Texas Stadium in the divisional round.
Here’s what the author Mike Tanier wrote about the team:
We all saw this one coming. The Cowboys raced out to a 12-1 record in 2007, then declared "mission accomplished" and sleepwalked through a few ugly late-season losses. Tony Romo and some teammates then spent their playoff bye weekend in Cabo, Mexico, just in case you weren't 100 percent certain that they thought they already won the Super Bowl. The Cowboys actually held 14-7 and 17-14 leads in the playoff game, but after Brandon Jacobs scored a 1-yard touchdown near the start of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys' offense collapsed in a heap of ugly sacks and sloppy penalties. Lesson learned: Cabo is a great place for players to visit in early February, not early January.
Cabo is a way too convenient reason for the loss. It had nothing to do with the result. The Giants’ pass rush overwhelmed the Cowboys, just as it overwhelmed New England in the Super Bowl. (As an aside, you would think an undefeated Patriots team losing in the Super Bowl to the Giants would be in the top 10, but it is not.)
And if Patrick Crayton catches that Romo flip on third-and-13 from the Dallas 17 with so much open room in front of him, the Cowboys likely win the game and never make this list.
Looking back at that season, I believe a lot of the players believe that is the one that got away. Everything was set up for them to make a Super Bowl run, but they relaxed. They came into 2008 feeling entitled and ended up missing the playoffs. Ever since the '07 season they have been chasing that chance and you have to wonder if it will be so close again.
By the way, former head coach Wade Phillips’ prints are all over this list. The 2006 San Diego Chargers, who finished 14-2, check in at No. 10, and he was the defensive coordinator. Philadelphia from 1988-90 takes up the No. 7 spot and he was the Eagles coordinator in 1988. At No. 5 are the ’02 Green Bay Packers, who lost to Atlanta at Lambeau Field. Phillips was the Falcons' coordinator that year.