Cowboys blow big chance for playoff spot

December, 15, 2013
12/15/13
9:52
PM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Had the Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, they could have had a situation where they clinched a playoff spot next week with a win against the Washington Redskins.

Now after their latest in incredible defeats -- 37-36 to the Packers -- they are stumbling once again in December and could find themselves eliminated from the playoff chase with a loss to the Redskins.

For that to happen, the Cowboys will have to lose to the Redskins and then see the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears.

In the NFC East, anything is possible.

On a day in which no team from the division won a game the Cowboys lost an incredible opportunity to claim first place with two games to go. The Eagles did their part with an embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but the Cowboys could not do theirs with the loss to the Packers at AT&T Stadium.

“Disappointing loss, there’s no question about that independent of what anybody else does around the league,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We focus on what we do and we played very well in the first half and gave ourselves great opportunity to win this ballgame by how we were playing early and we didn’t play well in the second half. It’s as simple as that. We didn’t get stops on defense. We didn’t sustain enough drives on offense. We kicked too many field goals and ultimately they made the plays and we didn’t.”

The Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead and saw a 36-24 lead with 7:55 to play disappear.

The Cowboys were that close to being able to possibly win the NFC East next week. That could have happened with a win against the Redskins and a Philadelphia loss to the Bears.

Now the best they can hope for is to make their Week 17 meeting against the Eagles matter on Dec. 29.

“It’s tough,” tight end Jason Witten said. “It’s really tough. Words really can’t describe it. I’ve been in some tough games, it’s a tough league, but obviously this one was really tough. I feel like we were playing well for most of the game. Just didn’t finish. That’s the reality of where it is. It’s a loss that hurts. At the same time, with Philly losing, you’ve got to regroup. Nobody feels sorry for you. We’ve still got a chance at this thing.”

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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