Plays that shaped the season: No. 3

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
Editor's note: In this series, Jean-Jacques Taylor counts down 10 plays that shaped the Cowboys' season.

Miles AustinAP Photo/Kevin TerrellTony Romo's pass intended for Miles Austin was intercepted, helping Green Bay rally late.

Play No. 3: Tony Romo's interception

Situation: Second-and-6 from Dallas 35
Score: Dallas leads, 36-31
Time: 2:58 left in fourth quarter

Taylor's Take: This was the dumbest collective decision of the year by coach Jason Garrett, playcaller Bill Callahan and quarterback Tony Romo. On a day when DeMarco Murray rushed for 134 yards and 7.4 yards per carry, the Cowboys threw the ball in a situation that begged for them to run it, burn the clock and force Green Bay to use its timeouts. The result: a game-changing interception that helped Green Bay rally from a 26-3 halftime deficit. Two years ago, the Cowboys blew a 27-3 third quarter lead against Detroit. Clearly, Garrett and Romo learned nothing.

Season Impact: The Cowboys still would have needed to beat Philadelphia in the last game to make the playoffs, but they would have entered the game with considerably more momentum. This was the second game the Cowboys lost that they should have won --- Detroit was the other --- and it's among the biggest reasons they finished with yet another 8-8 record. Failing to hold a 23-point lead at home against a backup quarterback is a fireable offense most years, but Jerry Jones decided to stick with Garrett.

Quote: "It was a run call, though, that he threw the ball on. I think he'd be the first one to tell you right now that he probably should have run the ball in that situation." -- Jason Garrett
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.



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