Plays that shaped the season: No. 2

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
11:00
AM ET
Editor's note: In this series, Jean-Jacques Taylor counts down 10 plays that shaped the Cowboys' season.

Kyle OrtonAP Photo/James D. SmithKyle Orton's INT in the fourth quarter against the Eagles effectively ended the Cowboys' season.

Play No. 2: Kyle Orton's interception

Situation: First-and-10 from Dallas' 32
Score: Philadelphia leads, 24-22
Time: 1:49 left in fourth quarter

Taylor's Take: Kyle Orton played better than the Cowboys really had the right to expect for a backup with just 15 pass attempts the past two seasons. Orton passed for 358 yards and had the ball with an opportunity to lead the Cowboys on a game-winning drive in the regular-season finale that would have clinched the division and put his name in the franchise’s annals. All night, Orton’s only sin had been consistently throwing the ball behind his receivers, an indication the game was moving a tad too fast for him. He did it again on the first play of the Cowboys’ potential game-winning drive and Brandon Boykin came up with an interception.

Season Impact: For the third consecutive season, the Cowboys had an opportunity to make the playoffs with a victory in the final game. For the second consecutive season, they had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. And for the first time, they played the game at home. The Cowboys came in undefeated in the NFC East and had already beaten Philadelphia. The loss ended the Cowboys’ season and extended their playoff drought to four seasons, the longest since owner Jerry Jones bough the team in 1989.

Quote: "I just threw a bad pass." -- Kyle Orton
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com 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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