We all remember the circumstances. It seems like it was only about 16 hours ago. Down and distance – 3rd and 5 on their own 25 yard-line. Just over two minutes left. And like a horror film that we’ve seen before, we all know what happened next but we can’t stop it – Romo and Austin miss a crucial connection down the sideline. Cowboy fans the world over exhale in utter disappointment and start sweating profusely as Matt McBriar trots onto the field…
But wait! McBriar and the special teams are suddenly ordered back to the sidelines. There’s someone beckoning them back, and he’s wearing a silver and blue hoodie. Why, it looks like RHG has been taken over by the Spirit of Bill Belichik. He’s finally admitted to himself that his defense hasn’t stopped the Giants except on one freak play for an interception; why would they start now? He’s already seen leads evaporate several times over the course of the season to know better than to hope players like Newman, Ball, Spencer and yes, Ware, will suddenly man up to stop a team they haven’t stopped at Jerry World since, well…ever! He knows that the team’s only chance is to keep the ball in the hands of one Antonio Ramiro Romo, who to this point is 27-18-271-4-0. He knows that if McBriar gets off his usual 50 yard punt, it’s just a matter of time before the Giants march 75 yards for the game-winning TD. And he realizes that if, by some chance, the Giants take over at the Cowboys 25-yard line with 2:20 left in the game, that New York will surely score anyway, but with probably much more time left on the clock. More time left for Romo and the offense to retake the lead.
So Garrett decides to go for it on 4th down and 5 on his own 25 yard-line. Romo completes a pass for a first down, and the Cowboys run out the clock. OR Romo throws incomplete and the Giants take over on downs. Within three plays the Giants score the go-ahead TD, and the Cowboys get the ball back with two timeouts and 1:25 left on the clock. Romo then leads the Cowboys downfield to set up a 25 yard FG attempt by Dan Bailey, which he makes easily because it’s a chipshot and JPP is tired from running around for 1:20.
Then the Cowboys lose the OT coin toss and Garrett, still firm in his belief that the Rob Ryan-led defense will not stop an opposing offense until sometime during the 2013 season, kicks onside – the first onside OT kick in NFL history. The Cowboys recover, score a TD on a pass from Romo to Austin (who is now wearing sunglasses) to win 43-37. Garrett wins accolades as the gutsiest, smartest coach in the NFL and the Cowboys ride the momentum to win the NFC East and two playoff games before running into a buzzsaw in Green Bay, setting the table for a magical Super Bowl run next year.
And then we wake up, covered in navy blue glitter.