ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' 2010 season effectively ended with 12:20 left in the second quarter of Monday's 41-35 loss to the New York Giants. That's when Giants linebacker Michael Boley drove quarterback Tony Romo into the ground just after he delivered a pass. And please don't be fooled by the final score. The Cowboys were never in this game in the second half.
What it means: Romo broke his left clavicle on the play and he's likely out for at least two months. The Cowboys actually extended the lead to 20-7 following Romo's departure, but coach Wade Phillips' defense crumbled after that. Giants quarterback Eli Manning shook off two early interceptions (only one was his fault) and shredded the Cowboys' secondary for more than 300 passing yards and four touchdowns. He did finish with three interceptions, but the third one came after the game had been decided. The Giants have now knocked five quarterbacks out of the game this season. And it looks like New York is what passes for an "elite" team in the NFC. With a 5-2 record, the Giants have the edge on both the Eagles and Redskins, who each have 4-3 records.
It's Kitna time for Cowboys: The Cowboys will likely play two months with Jon Kitna as the starter. He was completely overwhelmed with the Giants' pass-rush once he entered the game and had to resort to check-downs passes on most plays. Phillips needed his defense to bail him out Monday night, but it responded with a pathetic performance. Hakeem Nicks, who battled through a hamstring injury that forced him to miss several practices last week, surpassed 100 yards receiving and had two touchdowns. The Giants threw at cornerback Orlando Scandrick in the first half, with great success. Smith also surpassed 100 yards, and he raced past Scandrick for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Giants up, 21-20, in the second quarter.
Wade Phillips' future: Now you have to wonder whether Tony Romo's injury could provide Jerry Jones with the excuse he needs to keep Phillips around. With the way the Cowboys' defense played Monday, however, Phillips doesn't have much to hang his hat on.
What's next: The Giants head into their bye week on a four-game winning streak and they have to feel great about their position. They will head to Seattle after the bye and have a strong opportunity to get to 6-2 at the midway point. The Cowboys will host Jacksonville next Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. You have to wonder if fans will show up to watch Jon Kitna run this offense. The Cowboys' season was likely over anyway, but Romo's injury made it official. It's hard to imagine this offense rallying around Jon Kitna.