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Monday, October 7, 2013
Closer look at Cowboys' final drive

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Much of the focus of the Dallas Cowboys' 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos is on the Tony Romo interception, so let’s look at what led to the turnover by analyzing the two plays of the drive.

First and 10, Cowboys 20, 2:39 to play.

The Cowboys are in "11 personnel" with Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten to Romo’s right and Dez Bryant is to the left. The Broncos rushed five on the play, but DeMarco Murray did a nice job of picking up the late blitz from safety Omar Bolden.

Romo pumps as he looks like he want to throw underneath to Beasley, but the receiver had not cleared the umpire so Romo re-loaded. As he looked for Beasley again Shaun Phillips brought some pressure, forcing Romo to his right. Phillip shook free from Brian Waters and came up with the 6-yard sack.

The officials did not flag Phillips for a horse-collar tackle because they felt Romo was inside the tackle box. The snap came from the left hashmark and Romo was outside the right hashmark.

Second and 16, Cowboys 14, 2:04 to play.

The Cowboys are in "12 personnel" with Witten to Romo’s right and Gavin Escobar, Bryant and Williams to his right. The Broncos rushed only three and clamped on Witten. With Derek Wolfe starting to work past Travis Frederick, left guard Ronald Leary slid in front of Romo to get Wolfe. With his feet unsettled, Romo tried to get the ball to Escobar, but as he threw he stumbled on Tyron Smith’s foot and was unable to get more on the pass.

Danny Trevathan made an excellent play to come up with the diving pick. Could Escobar have helped more on the route? Perhaps, but Romo had the check-down to Murray available for a nice gain to set up a third-and-manageable.